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An  Interpretation 




New  York 



Copyright   191 2,  by 
Charles  Johnston. 

#  ,-,~ 




Charles  Rockwell  Lanman 

Introduction  to  Book  I 

THE  Yoga  Sutras  of  Patanjali  are  in  themselves  exceed- 
ingly brief,  less  than  ten  pages  of  large  type  in  the 
original.  Yet  they  contain  the  essence  of  practical 
wisdom,  set  forth  in  admirable  order  and  detail.  The 
theme,  if  the  present  interpreter  be  right,  is  the  great  regenera- 
tion, the  birth  of  the  spiritual  from  the  psychical  man :  the  same 
theme  which  Paul  so  wisely  and  eloquently  set  forth  in  writing 
to  his  disciples  in  Corinth,  the  theme  of  all  mystics  in  all  lands. 
We  think  of  ourselves  as  living  a  purely  physical  life,  in 
these  material  bodies  of  ours.  In  reality,  we  have  gone  far 
indeed  from  pure  physical  life ;  for  ages,  our  life  has  been 
psychical,  we  have  been  centered  and  immersed  in  the  psychic 
nature.  Some  of  the  schools  of  India  say  that  the  psychic 
nature  is,  as  it  were,  a  looking-glass,  wherein  are  mirrored  the 
things  seen  by  the  physical  eyes,  and  heard  by  the  physical  ears. 
But  this  is  a  magic  mirror ;  the  images  remain,  and  take  a  cer- 
tain life  of  their  own.  Thus  within  the  psychic  realm  of  our 
life  there  grows  up  an  imaged  world  wherein  we  dwell ;  a 
world  of  the  images  of  things  seen  and  heard,  and  therefore 
a  world  of  memories ;  a  world  also  of  hopes  and  desires,  of 
fears  and  regrets.  Mental  life  grows  up  among  these  images, 
built  on  a  measuring  and  comparing,  on  the  massing  of  images 
together  into  general  ideas ;  on  the  abstraction  of  new  notions 
and  images  from  these ;  till  a  new  world  is  built  up  within,  full 
of  desires  and  hates,  ambition,  envy,  longing,  speculation,  curi- 
osity, self-will,  self-interest. 


The  teaching  of  the  East  is,  that  all  these  are  true  powers 
overlaid  by  false  desires;  that  though  in  manifestation  psy- 
chical, they  are  in  essence  spiritual ;  that  the  psychical  man  is 
the  veil  and  prophecy  of  the  spiritual  man. 

The  purpose  of  life,  therefore,  is  the  realising  of  that 
prophecy ;  the  unveiling  of  the  immortal  man ;  the  birth  of  the 
spiritual  from  the  psychical,  whereby  we  enter  our  divine  in- 
heritance and  come  to  inhabit  Eternity.  This  is,  indeed,  sal- 
vation, the  purpose  of  all  true  religion,  in  all  times. 

Patanjali  has  in  mind  the  spiritual  man,  to  be  born  from 
the  psychical ;  or  in  another  sense,  veiled  by  the  psychical.  His 
purpose  is,  to  set  in  order  the  practical  means  for  the  unveiling 
and  regeneration,  and  to  indicate  the  fruit,  the  glory  and  the 
power,  of  that  new  birth. 

Through  the  Sutras  of  the  First  Book,  Patanjali  is 
concerned  with  the  first  great  problem,  the  emergence  of  the 
spiritual  man  from  the  veils  and  meshes  of  the  psychic  nature, 
the  moods  and  vestures  of  the  mental  and  emotional  man. 
Later  will  come  the  consideration  of  the  nature  and  powers  of 
the  spiritual  man,  once  he  stands  clear  of  the  psychic  veils  and 
trammels,  and  a  view  of  the  realms  in  which  these  new  spiritual 
powers  are  to  be  revealed. 

At  this  point  may  come  a  word  of  explanation.  I  have 
been  asked  why  I  use  the  word  Sutras,  for  these  rules  of 
Patanjali's  system,  when  the  word  Aphorism  has  been  con- 
nected with  them  in  our  minds  for  a  generation.  The  reason 
is  this:  the  name  Aphorism  suggests,  to  me  at  least,  a  pithy 
sentence  of  very  general  application ;  a  piece  of  proverbial  wis- 
dom that  may  be  quoted  in  a  good  many  sets  of  circumstance, 
and  which  will  almost  bear  on  its  face  the  evidence  of  its  truth. 
But  with  a  Sutra  the  case  is  different.  It  comes  from  the  same 
root  as  the  word  "sew,"  and  means,  indeed,  a  thread,  suggest- 
ing, therefore,  a  close-knit,  consecutive  chain  of  argument. 
Not  only  has  each  sutra  a  definite  place  in  the  system,  but 
further,  taken  out  of  this  place,  it  will  be  almost  meaningless, 
and  will  by  no  means  be  self-evident.  So  I  have  thought  best 
to  adhere  to  the  original  word.  The  Sutras  of  Patanjali  are 
as  closely  knit  together,  as  dependent  on  each  other,  as  the 

BOOK    I 

propositions  of  Euclid,  and  can  no  more  be  taken  out  of  their 
proper  setting. 

In  the  second  part  of  the  first  book,  the  problem  of  the 
emergence  of  the  spiritual  man  is  further  dealt  with.  We  are 
led  to  the  consideration  of  the  barriers  to  his  emergence,  of  the 
overcoming  of  the  barriers,  and  of  certain  steps  and  stages  in 
the  ascent  from  the  ordinary  consciousness  of  practical  life, 
to  the  finer,  deeper,  radiant  consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man. 


i.     OM:     Here  follows  Instruction  in  Union. 

Union,  here  as  always  in  the  Scriptures  of  India,  means 
union  of  the  individual  soul  with  the  Oversoul ;  of  the  personal 
consciousness  with  the  Divine  Consciousness,  whereby  the 
mortal  becomes  immortal,  and  enters  the  Eternal.  Therefore, 
salvation  is,  first,  freedom  from  sin  and  the  sorrow  which  comes 
from  sin,  and  then  a  divine  and  eternal  well-being,  wherein  the 
soul  partakes  of  the  being,  the  wisdom  and  glory  of  God. 

2.  Union,  spiritual  consciousness,  is  gained  through  control 
of  the  versatile  psychic  nature. 

The  goal  is  the  full  consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man, 
illumined  by  the  Divine  Light.  Nothing  except  the  obdurate 
resistance  of  the  psychic  nature  keeps  us  back  from  the  goal. 
The  psychical  powers  are  spiritual  powers  run  wild,  perverted, 
drawn  from  their  proper  channel.  Therefore  our  first  task  is, 
to  regain  control  of  this  perverted  nature,  to  chasten,  purify 
and  restore  the  misplaced  powers. 

3.  Then  the  Seer  comes  to  consciousness  in  his  proper 

Egotism  is  but  the  perversion  of  spiritual  being.  Ambi- 
tion is  the  inversion  of  spiritual  power.  Passion  is  the  distor- 
tion of  love.  The  mortal  is  the  limitation  of  the  immortal. 
When  these  false  images  give  place  to  true,  then  the  spiritual 
man  stands  forth  luminous,  as  the  sun,  when  the  clouds  dis- 


4.  Heretofore  the  Seer  has  been  enmeshed  in  the  activities 
off  the  psychic  nature. 

The  power  and  life  which  are  the  heritage  of  the  spiritual 
man  have  been  caught  and  enmeshed  in  psychical  activities. 
Instead  of  pure  being  in  the  Divine,  there  has  been  fretful, 
combative  egotism,  its  hand  against  every  man.  Instead  of  the 
light  of  pure  vision,  there  have  been  restless  senses  and  imagin- 
ings. Instead  of  spiritual  joy,  the  undivided  joy  of  pure  being, 
there  has  been  self-indulgence  of  body  and  mind.  These  are 
all  real  forces,  but  distorted  from  their  true  nature  and  goal. 
They  must  be  extricated,  like  gems  from  the  matrix,  like  the 
pith  from  the  reed,  steadily,  without  destructive  violence. 
Spiritual  powers  are  to  be  drawn  forth  from  the  psychic 

5.  The  psychic  activities  are  five;  they  are  attended  by 
pleasure  or  pain. 

The  psychic  nature  is  built  up  through  the  image-making 
power,  the  power  which  lies  behind  and  dwells  in  mind-pic- 
tures. These  pictures  do  not  remain  quiescent  in  the  mind; 
they  are  kinetic,  restless,  stimulating  to  new  acts.  Thus  the 
mind-image  of  an  indulgence  suggests  and  invites  to  a  new  in- 
dulgence ;  the  picture  of  past  joy  is  framed  in  regrets  or  hopes. 
And  there  is  the  ceaseless  play  of  the  desire  to  know,  to  pene- 
trate to  the  essence  of  things,  to  classify.  This,  too,  busies  it- 
self ceaselessly  with  the  mind-images.  So  that  we  may  classify 
the  activities  of  the  psychic  nature  thus : 

6.  These  activities  are:  Sound  intellection,  unsound  intel- 
lection, phantasy,  dream,  memory. 

We  have  here  a  list  of  mental  and  emotional  powers;  of 
powers  that  picture  and  observe,  and  of  powers  that  picture 
and  feel.  But  the  power  to  know  and  feel  is  spiritual  and  im- 
mortal. What  is  needed  is,  not  to  destroy  but  to  raise  it  from 
the  psychical  to  the  spiritual  realm. 


BOO  K    I 

7.  The  elements  of  sound  intellection  are:  direct  observa- 
tion, inductive  reason,  and  trustworthy  testimony. 

Each  of  these  is  a  spiritual  power,  thinly  veiled.  Direct 
observation  is  the  outermost  form  of  the  Soul's  pure  vision. 
Inductive  reason  rests  on  the  great  principles  of  continuity  and 
correspondence ;  and  these,  on  the  supreme  truth  that  all  life  is 
of  the  One.  Trustworthy  testimony,  the  sharing  of  one  soul 
in  the  wisdom  of  another,  rests  on  the  ultimate  oneness  of  all 

8.  Unsound  intellection  is  false  understanding,  not  resting 
on  a  perception  of  the  true  nature  of  things. 

The  great  example  of  unsound  intellection  is  materialism, 
whereby  to  the  reality  and  eternity  of  the  soul  is  attributed  the 
evanescence  and  perishableness  that  really  belong  to  material 
things.  This  false  reasoning,  therefore,  rests  on  a  reversal  of 
the  true  nature  of  things. 

9.  Phantasy  is  a  fiction  of  mere  words,  with  no  underly- 
ing reality. 

One  may  say,  perhaps,  that  there  is  this  difference  between 
imagination  and  fancy :  imagination  is  the  image  of  unseen 
things,  which  are  real ;  fancy  is  the  imaging  of  unseen  things 
which  are  unreal.  The  power  of  phantasy  has  a  wide  scope 
and  range.  Ambition,  whereby  a  man  sets  up  within  his  mind 
an  image  of  himself,  great,  rich,  admired,  to  which  all  men 
shall  bow  down,  is  a  form  of  phantasy.  The  pursuit  of  wealth 
is  largely  phantasy,  for  men  seek  not  commodities  but  food  for 
their  cowardice  and  conceit.  The  fear  of  death  is  a  phantasy, 
nourished  on  images  of  tombs  and  funerals  and  black  robes. 
All  these  are  fictions,  with  no  underlying  reality. 


10.  Dream  is  the  psychic  condition  which  rests  on  mind 
states,  all  material  thinge  being  absent. 

In  waking  life,  we  have  two  currents  of  perception ;  an 
outer  current  of  physical  things  seen  and  heard  and  perceived ; 
an  inner  current  of  mind-images  and  thoughts.  The  outer  cur- 
rent ceases  in  sleep ;  the  inner  current  continues,  and  watching 
the  mind-images  float  before  the  field  of  consciousness,  we 

ii.  Memory  is  the  holding  fast  to  mind=images  of  things 

Here,  as  before,  the  mental  power  is  explained  in  terms  of 
mind-images,  which  are  the  material  of  which  the  psychic 
world  is  built.  Therefore  the  sages  teach  that  the  world  of 
our  perception,  which  is  indeed  a  world  of  mind-images,  is 
but  the  wraith  or  shadow  of  the  real  and  everlasting  world. 
In  this  sense,  memory  is  but  the  psychical  inversion  of  the 
spiritual,  ever-present  vision.  That  which  is  ever  before  the 
spiritual  eye  of  the  Seer  needs  not  to  be  remembered. 

12.  The  control  of  these  psychic  activities  comes  through 
the  right  use  of  the  will,  and  through  ceasing  from  self=indulg= 

If  these  psychical  powers  and  energies,  even  such  evil 
things  as  passion  and  hate  and  fear,  are  but  spiritual  powers 
fallen  and  perverted,  how  are  we  to  bring  about  their  release 
and  restoration  ?  Two  means  are  presented  to  us :  the  awaken- 
ing of  the  spiritual  will,  and  the  purification  of  mind  and 


BOOK    I 

13.  The  right  use  of  the  will  is  the  steady  effort  to  stand 
in  spiritual  being. 

We  have  thought  of  ourselves,  perhaps,  as  creatures  mov- 
ing upon  this  earth,  rather  helpless,  at  the  mercy  of  storm  and 
hunger  and  our  enemies.  We  are  to  think  of  ourselves  as 
immortals,  dwelling  in  the  Light,  encompassed  and  sustained 
by  spiritual  powers.  The  steady  effort  to  hold  this  thought  will 
awaken  dormant  and  unrealised  powers,  which  will  unveil  to 
us  the  nearness  of  the  Eternal. 

14.  This  becomes  a  firm  resting=place,  when  followed  long, 
persistently,  with  righteousness. 

We  must  seek  spiritual  life  in  conformity  with  the  laws 
of  spiritual  life,  with  righteousness,  humility,  gentle  charity, 
which  is  an  acknowledgement  of  the  One  Soul  within  us  all. 
Only  through  obedience  to  that  shared  Life,  through  perpetual 
remembrance  of  our  oneness  with  all  Divine  Being,  our  noth- 
ingness apart  from  Divine  Being,  can  we  enter  our  inheritance. 

15.  Ceasing  from  self=indugence  is  conscious  mastery  over 
the  thirst  for  sensuous  pleasure  here  or  hereafter. 

Rightly  understood,  the  desire  for  sensation  is  the  desire 
of  being,  the  distortion  of  the  soul's  eternal  life.  The  lust  of 
sensual  stimulus  and  excitation  rests  on  the  longing  to  feel 
one's  life  keenly,  to  gain  the  sense  of  being  really  alive.  This 
sense  of  true  life  comes  only  with  the  coining  of  the  soul,  and 
the  soul  comes  only  in  silence,  after  self-indulgence  has  been 
courageously  and  loyally  stilled,  through  reverence  before  the 
coming  soul. 

1 1 


1 6.  The  consummation  of  this  is  freedom  from  thirst  for 
any  mode  of  psychical  activity,  through  the  establishment  of  the 
spiritual  man. 

In  order  to  gain  a  true  understanding  of  this  teaching, 
study  must  be  supplemented  by  devoted  practice,  faith  by 
works.  The  reading  of  the  words  will  not  avail.  There  must 
be  a  real  effort  to  stand  as  the  Soul,  a  real  ceasing  from  self- 
indulgence.  With  this  awakening  of  the  spiritual  will,  and 
purification,  will  come  at  once  the  growth  of  the  spiritual  man 
and  our  awakening  consciousness  as  the  spiritual  man ;  and 
this,  attained  in  even  a  small  degree,  will  help  us  notably  in  our 
contest.    To  him  that  hath,  shall  be  given. 

17.  That  spiritual  vision  which  is  conditioned  and  limited 
takes  the  form  first  of  exterior  reasoning,  then  of  interior  judg- 
ment, then  of  happiness,  then  of  realisation  of  individual  being. 

In  spiritual  consciousness,  there  are  two  clearly  marked 
stages.  The  first  is  spiritual  consciousness  expressing  itself 
through  the  psychical,  through  reason  and  feeling.  The  second 
is  spiritual  consciousness  clear  of  the  psychical,  and  shining 
forth  luminous,  in  its  own  proper  being.  The  first  is  here  de- 
fined in  its  ascending  stages,  as  first  the  right  training  and  dis- 
position of  the  reason ;  next,  the  finer  perception  of  intuition ; 
next  the  joy  and  exaltation  which  comes  with  the  realisation  of 
spiritual  life ;  and  then  the  awakening  to  the  being  of  the  soul, 
though  not  yet  to  the  knowledge  of  the  soul's  oneness  with  the 

18.  Spiritual  consciousness  unlimited  is  the  final  state  led 
up  to  by  the  right  practice  of  spiritual  Silence. 

Spiritual  Silence  is  the  crown  and  end  of  purification.  It 
is  the  stilling  of  all  passional  and  psychic  storms,  those  dramatic 
fictions  through  which  we  seek  the  sense  of  real  life,  which 
needs  no  storm  to  reveal  it,  but  is  innate  in  the  soul,  and  made 
manifest  through  Silence. 


BOO  K    I 

19.  The  external  world  still  dominates  those  who  have  con- 
quered bodily  lusts,  but  are  immersed  in  the  sense  of  separate- 

There  is  an  asceticism  that  is  but  a  new  form  of  ambition, 
a  desire  to  gain  spiritual  power  or  grace  for  oneself,  ignorant 
that  spiritual  power  and  grace  belong  only  to  all  united.  Those 
who  seek  thus,  have  not  yet  conquered  the  world. 

20.  For  the  others,  there  is  spiritual  consciousness,  led  up 
to  by  faith,  valor,  right  mindfulness,  one-pointedness,  perception. 

It  is  well  to  keep  in  mind  these  steps  on  the  path  to  illumi- 
nation :  faith,  valor,  right  mindfulness,  one-pointedness,  per- 
ception. Not  one  can  be  dispensed  with ;  all  must  be  won. 
First  faith ;  and  then  from  faith,  valor ;  from  valor,  right  mind- 
fulness ;  from  right  mindfulness,  a  one-pointed  aspiration 
toward  the  soul ;  from  this,  perception ;  and  finally  full  vision 
as  the  soul. 

21.  Spiritual  consciousness  is  nearest  to  those  of  keen, 
intense  will. 

The  image  used  is  the  swift  impetus  of  the  torrent;  the 
kingdom  must  be  taken  by  force.  Firm  will  comes  only 
through  effort ;  effort  is  inspired  by  faith.  The  great  secret  is 
this :  it  is  not  enough  to  have  intuitions ;  we  must  act  on  them ; 
we  must  live  them. 

22.  The  will  may  be  weak,  or  of  middle  strength,  or  in- 

For  those  of  weak  will,  there  is  this  counsel :  to  be  faithful 
in  obedience,  to  live  the  life,  and  thus  to  strengthen  the  will  to 
more  perfect  obedience.  The  will  is  not  ours,  but  God's,  and 
we  come  into  it  only  through  obedience.  As  we  enter  into  the 
spirit  of  God,  we  are  permitted  to  share  the  power  of  God. 



23.  The  will  may  be  gained  by  ardent  service  of  the 

If  we  think  of  our  lives  as  tasks  laid  on  us  by  the  Master 
of  Life,  if  we  look  on  all  duties  as  parts  of  that  Master's  work, 
entrusted  to  us,  and  forming  our  life-work;  then,  if  we  obey, 
promptly,  loyally,  sincerely,  we  shall  enter  by  degrees  into  the 
Master's  life  and  share  the  Master's  power.  Thus  we  shall  be 
initiated  into  the  spiritual  will. 

24.  The  Master  is  the  spiritual  man,  who  has  conquered 
sorrow,  bondage  to  works,  and  the  accumulation  of  evils. 

The  soul  of  the  Master,  the  Lord,  is  of  the  same  nature  as 
the  soul  in  us ;  but  wre  still  bear  the  burden  of  many  evils,  we 
are  in  bondage  through  our  former  works,  we  are  under  the 
dominance  of  sorrow.  The  soul  of  the  Master  has  conquered 
sin  and  made  an  end  of  servitude  and  sorrow. 

25.     In  the  Master  is  the  seed  of  perfect  Omniscience. 

The  Soul  of  the  Master  is  in  essence  one  with  the  Over- 
soul,  and  therefore  partaker  of  the  Oversoul's  all-wisdom  and 
all-power.  All  spiritual  attainment  rests  on  this,  and  is  possible 
because  the  soul  and  the  Oversold  are  One. 


B  00  K    I 

26.  He  is  the  Teacher  of  all  who  have  gone  before,  since 
he  is  not  limited  by  Time. 

From  the  beginning,  the  Oversoul  has  been  the  Teacher  of 
all  souls,  which,  by  their  entrance  into  the  Oversoul,  by  realis- 
ing their  oneness  with  the  Oversoul,  have  inherited  the  king- 
dom of  the  Light.  For  the  Oversoul  is  before  Time,  and  Time, 
father  of  all  else,  is  one  of  His  children. 

27.     His  word  is  OM. 

Om  :  the  symbol  of  the  Three  in  One,  the  three  worlds  in 
the  Soul ;  the  three  times,  past,  present,  future,  in  Eternity ;  the 
three  Divine  Powers,  Creation,  Preservation,  Transformation, 
in  the  one  Being ;  the  three  essences,  immortality,  omniscience, 
joy,  in  the  one  Spirit.  This  is  the  Word,  the  Symbol,  of  the 
Master  and  Lord,  the  perfected  Spiritual  Man. 

28.  Let  there  be  soundless  repetition  of  OM  and  medita= 
tion  thereon. 

This  has  many  meanings,  in  ascending  degrees.  There  is, 
first,  the  potency  of  the  word  itself,  as  of  all  words.  Then  there 
is  the  manifold  significance,  of  the  symbol,  as  suggested  above. 
Lastly,  there  is  the  spiritual  realisation  of  the  high  essences 
thus  symbolised.     Thus  we  rise  step  by  step  to  the  Eternal. 



29.  Thence  come  the  awakening  of  interior  consciousness, 
and  the  removal  of  barriers. 

Here  again  faith  must  be  supplemented  by  works,  the  life 
must  be  led  as  well  as  studied,  before  the  full  meaning  can  be 
understood.  The  awakening  of  spiritual  consciousness  can 
only  be  understood  in  measure  as  it  is  entered.  It  can  only  be 
entered  where  the  conditions  are  present:  purity  of  heart  and 
strong  aspiration  and  the  resolute  conquest  of  each  sin. 

This,  however,  may  easily  be  understood:  that  the  recog- 
nition of  the  three  worlds  as  resting  in  the  Soul  leads  us  to 
realise  ourselves  and  all  life,  as  of  the  Soul ;  that,  as  we  dwell, 
not  in  past,  present  or  future,  but  in  the  Eternal,  we  become 
more  at  one  with  the  Eternal ;  that,  as  we  view  all  organization, 
preservation,  mutation  as  the  work  of  the  Divine  One,  we  shall 
come  more  into  harmony  with  the  One,  and  thus  remove  the 
barriers  in  our  path  toward  the  Light. 

In  the  second  part  of  the  first  book,  the  problem  of  the 
emergence  of  the  spiritual  man  is  further  dealt  with.  We  are 
led  to  the  consideration  of  the  barriers  to  his  emergence,  of  the 
overcoming  of  the  barriers,  and  of  certain  steps  and  stages  in 
the  ascent  from  the  ordinary  consciousness  of  practical  life, 
to  the  finer,  deeper,  radiant  consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man. 


B  00  K    I 

30.  The  barriers  to  interior  consciousness,  which  drive  the 
psychic  nature  this  way  and  that,  are  these:  sickness,  inertia, 
doubt,  light-mindedness,  laziness,  intemperance,  false  notions, 
inability  to  hold  the  ground  gained,  unsteadiness. 

We  must  remember  that  we  are  considering  the  spiritual 
man  as  enwrapped  and  enmeshed  by  the  psychic  nature,  the 
emotional  and  mental  powers ;  and  as  unable  to  come  to  clear 
consciousness,  unable  to  stand  and  see  clearly,  because  of  the 
psychic  veils  of  the  personality.  Nine  of  these  are  enumerated, 
and  they  go  pretty  thoroughly  into  the  brute  toughness  of  the 
psychic  nature. 

Sickness  is  included  rather  for  its  effect  on  the  emotions 
and  mind,  since  bodily  infirmity,  such  as  blindness  or  deafness, 
is  no  insuperable  barrier  to  spiritual  life,  and  may  sometimes 
be  a  help,  as  cutting  off  distractions.  It  will  be  well  for  us  to 
ponder  over  each  of  these  nine  activities,  thinking  of  each  as  a 
psvchic  state,  a  barrier  to  the  interior  consciousness  of  the 
spiritual  man. 

31.  Grieving,  despondency,  bodily  restlessness,  the  draw- 
ing in  and  sending  forth  of  the  Iife=breath,  also  contribute  to 
drive  the  psychic  nature  to  and  fro. 

The  first  two  moods  are  easily  understood.  We  can  well 
see  how  a  sodden  psychic  condition,  flagrantly  opposed  to  the 
pure  and  positive  joy  of  spiritual  life,  would  be  a  barrier.  The 
next,  bodily  restlessness,  is  in  a  special  way  the  fault  of  our 
day  and  generation.  When  it  is  conquered,  mental  restlessness 
will  be  half  conquered,  too. 

The  next  two  terms,  concerning  the  life-breath,  offer  some 
difficulty.  The  surface  meaning  is  harsh  and  irregular  breath- 
ing; the  deeper  meaning  is  a  life  of  harsh  and  irregular  im- 



32.  Steady  application  to  a  principle  is  the  way  to  put  a 
stop  to  these. 

The  will,  which,  in  its  pristine  state,  was  full  of  vigor,  has 
been  steadily  corrupted  by  self-indulgence,  the  seeking  of 
moods  and  sensations  for  sensations'  sake.  Hence  come  all  the 
morbid  and  sickly  moods  of  the  mind.  The  remedy  is  a  return 
to  the  pristine  state  of  the  will,  by  vigorous,  positive  effort ;  or, 
as  we  are  here  told,  by  steady  application  to  a  principle.  The 
principle  to  which  we  should  thus  steadily  apply  ourselves 
should  be  one  arising  from  the  reality  of  spiritual  life ;  valorous 
work  for  the  soul,  in  others  as  in  ourselves. 

33,  By  sympathy  with  the  happy,  compassion  for  the  sor- 
rowful, delight  in  the  holy,  disregard  of  the  unholy,  the  psychic 
nature  moves  to  gracious  peace. 

When  we  are  wrapped  up  in  ourselves,  shrouded  with  the 
cloak  of  our  egotism,  absorbed  in  our  pains  and  bitter  thoughts, 
we  are  not  willing  to  disturb  or  strain  our  own  sickly  mood  by 
giving  kindly  sympathy  to  the  happy,  thus  doubling  their  joy, 
or  by  showing  compassion  for  the  sad,  thus  halving  their  sor- 
row. We  refuse  to  find  delight  in  holy  things,  and  let  the  mind 
brood  in  sad  pessimism  on  unholy  things.  All  these  evil  psychic 
moods  must  be  conquered  by  strong  effort  of  will.  This  rend- 
ing of  the  veils  will  reveal  to  us  something  of  the  grace  and 
peace  which  are  of  the  interior  consciousness  of  the  spiritual 

34.  Or  peace  may  be  reached  by  the  even  sending  forth 
and  control  of  the  life-breath. 

Here  again  we  may  look  for  a  double  meaning:  first,  that 
even  and  quiet  breathing  which  is  a  part  of  the  victory  over 
bodily  restlessness ;  then  the  even  and  quiet  tenor  of  life,  with- 
out harsh  or  dissonant  impulses,  which  brings  stillness  to  the 


BOOK    I 

35.  Faithful,  persistent  application  to  any  object,  if  com- 
pletely attained,  will  bind  the  mind  to  steadiness. 

We  are  still  considering  how  to  overcome  the  wavering 
and  perturbation  of  the  psychic  nature,  which  make  it  quite 
unfit  to  transmit  the  inward  consciousness  and  stillness.  We 
are  once  more  told  to  use  the  will,  and  to  train  it  by  steady  and 
persistent  work:  by  "sitting  close"  to  our  work,  in  the  phrase 
of  the  original. 

36.     As  also  will  a  joyful,  radiant  spirit. 

There  is  no  such  illusion  as  gloomy  pessimism,  and  it  has 
been  truly  said  that  a  man's  cheerfulness  is  the  measure  of  his 
faith.  Gloom,  despondency,  the  pale  cast  of  thought,  are  very 
amenable  to  the  will.  Sturdy  and  courageous  effort  will  bring 
a  clear  and  valorous  mind.  But  it  must  always  be  remembered 
that  this  is  not  for  solace  to  the  personal  man,  but  is  rather  an 
offering  to  the  ideal  of  spiritual  life,  a  contribution  to  the 
universal  and  universally  shared  treasure  in  heaven. 

37.  Or  the  purging  of  self  indulgence  from  the  psychic 

We  must  recognize  that  the  fall  of  man  is  a  reality, 
exemplified  in  our  own  persons.  We  have  quite  other  sins  than 
the  animals,  and  far  more  deleterious ;  and  they  have  all  come 
through  self-indulgence,  with  which  our  psychic  natures  are 
soaked  through  and  through.  As  we  climb  down  hill  for  our 
pleasure,  so  must  we  climb  up  again  for  our  purification  and 
restoration  to  our  former  high  estate.  The  process  is  painful, 
perhaps,  yet  indispensable. 



38.  Or  a  pondering  on  the  perceptions  gained  in  dreams 
and  dreamless  sleep. 

For  the  Eastern  sages,  dreams  are,  it  is  true,  made  up  of 
images  of  waking  life,  reflections  of  what  the  eyes  have  seen 
and  the  ears  heard.  But  dreams  are  something  more,  for  the 
images  are  in  a  sense  real,  objective  on  their  own  plane;  and 
the  knowledge  that  there  is  another  world,  even  a  dream-world, 
lightens  the  tyranny  of  material  life.  Much  of  poetry  and  art 
is  such  a  solace  from  dream-land.  But  there  is  more  in  dream, 
for  it  may  image  what  is  above,  as  well  as  what  is  below ;  not 
only  the  children  of  men,  but  also  the  children  by  the  shore  of 
the  immortal  sea  that  brought  us  hither,  may  throw  their  images 
on  this  magic  mirror.  So,  too,  of  the  secrets  of  dreamless 
sleep  with  its  pure  vision,  in  even  greater  degree. 

39.     Or  meditative  brooding  on  what  is  dearest  to  the  heart. 

Here  is  a  thought  which  our  own  day  is  beginning  to 
grasp :  that  love  is  a  form  of  knowledge ;  that  we  truly  know 
any  thing  or  any  person,  by  becoming  one  therewith,  in  love. 
Thus  love  has  a  wisdom  that  the  mind  cannot  claim,  and  by  this 
hearty  love,  this  becoming  one  with  what  is  beyond  our  per- 
sonal borders,  we  may  take  a  long  step  toward  freedom.  Two 
directions  for  this  may  be  suggested:  the  pure  love  of  the 
artist  for  his  work,  and  the  earnest,  compassionate  search  into 
the  hearts  of  others. 

40.     Thus  he  masters  all,  from  the  atom  to  the  Infinite. 

Newton  was  asked  how  he  made  his  discoveries.  By 
intending  my  mind  on  them,  he  replied.  This  steady  pressure, 
this  becoming  one  with  what  we  seek  to  understand,  whether 
it  be  atom  or  soul,  is  the  one  means  to  know.  When  we  be- 
come a  thing,  we  really  know  it,  not  otherwise.  Therefore  live 
the  life,  to  know  the  doctrine ;  do  the  will  of  the  Father,  if  you 
would  know  the  Father. 


B  0  O  K    I 

41.  When  the  perturbations  of  the  psychic  nature  have  all 
been  stiiled,  then  the  consciousness,  like  a  pure  crystal,  takes 
the  color  of  what  it  rests  on,  whether  that  be  the  perceiver,  per= 
ceiving,  or  the  thing  perceived. 

This  is  a  fuller  expression  of  the  last  Sutra,  and  is  so  lucid 
that  comment  can  hardly  add  to  it.  Everything  is  either  per- 
ceiver, perceiving,  or  the  thing  perceived ;  or,  as  we  might  say, 
consciousness,  force,  or  matter.  The  sage  tells  us  that  the  one 
key  will  unlock  the  secrets  of  all  three,  the  secrets  of  conscious- 
ness, force  and  matter  alike.  The  thought  is,  that  the  cordial 
sympathy  of  a  gentle  heart,  intuitively  understanding  the  hearts 
of  others,  is  really  a  manifestation  of  the  same  power  as  that 
penetrating  perception  whereby  one  divines  the  secrets  of 
planetary  motions  or  atomic  structure. 

42.  When  the  consciousness,  in  perceiving,  is  successively 
occupied  by  the  name,  the  idea,  and  the  understanding  of  what 
it  is  dwelling  on,  this  is  the  distributive  action  of  the  mind. 

We  are  now  to  trace  the  ascending  stages  of  perception, 
from  the  most  external  observation  to  pure  intuitive  vision. 
We  begin  with  the  perception  of  gross  substance,  or  as  we 
might  say,  external  and  objective  things,  observed  by  the 
physical  senses.  In  perceiving  these  external  things,  the  mind's 
action  may  be  either  distributive  and  analytical,  or  non-dis- 
tributive and  intuitive,  the  second  being  the  higher,  as  nearer  to 
unity.  Thus  we  may  think  analytically  of  something,  say,  a 
cow,  first  by  name,  then  according  to  its  appearance,  and  then 
through  what  we  know  of  its  nature ;  or  we  may  think  non- 
distributively,  entering  into  the  idea  of  the  cow,  as  a  famous 
painter  of  the  Netherlands  entered  into  the  inmost  being  of  the 
sheep  he  so  lovingly  depicted. 



43.  When  the  object  dwells  in  the  mind,  clear  of  memory- 
pictures,  devoid  of  any  form,  as  a  pure  luminous  idea,  this  is  non- 
distributive  perception. 

We  are  still  considering  external,  visible  objects.  Such 
perception  as  is  here  described  is  of  the  nature  of  that  penetrat- 
ing vision  whereby  Newton,  intending  his  mind  on  things, 
made  his  discoveries,  or  that  whereby  a  really  great  portrait 
painter  pierces  to  the  soul  of  him  whom  he  paints,  and  makes 
that  soul  live  on  canvas.  These  stages  of  perception  are  de- 
scribed in  this  way,  to  lead  the  mind  up  to  an  understanding  of 
the  piercing  soul-vision  of  the  spiritual  man,  the  immortal. 

44.  The  same  two  steps,  when  referring  to  things  of  finer 
substance,  are  said  to  be  with,  or  without,  judicial  action  of  the 

We  now  come  to  mental  or  psychical  objects:  to  images 
in  the  mind.  It  is  precisely  by  comparing,  arranging  and 
superposing  these  mind-images  that  we  get  our  general  notions 
or  concepts.  This  process  of  analysis  and  synthesis,  whereby 
we  select  certain  qualities  in  a  group  of  mind-images,  and  then 
range  together  those  of  like  quality,  is  the  judicial  action  of  the 
mind  spoken  of.  But  when  we  exercise  swift  divination  upon 
the  mind-images,  as  does  a  poet  or  a  man  of  genius,  then  we 
use  a  power  higher  than  the  judicial,  and  one  nearer  to  the 
keen  vision  of  the  spiritual  man. 


BOOK    I 

45.  Subtle  substance  rises  in  ascending  degrees,  to  that 
pure  nature  which  has  no  distinguishing  mark. 

As  we  ascend  from  outer  material  things  which  are  per- 
meated by  separateness,  and  whose  chief  characteristic  is  to 
be  separate,  just  as  so  many  pebbles  are  separate  from  each 
other;  as  we  ascend,  first,  to  mind-images,  which  overlap  and 
coalesce  in  both  space  and  time,  and  then  to  ideas  and  princi- 
ples, we  finally  come  to  purer  essences,  drawing  ever  nearer 
and  nearer  to  unity. 

Or  we  may  illustrate  this  principle  thus.  Our  bodily, 
external  selves  are  quite  distinct  and  separate,  in  form,  name, 
place,  substance;  our  mental  selves,  of  finer  substance,  meet 
and  part,  meet  and  part  again,  in  perpetual  concussion  and 
interchange;  our  spiritual  selves  attain  true  consciousness 
through  unity,  where  the  partition  wall  between  us  and  the 
Highest,  between  us  and  others,  is  broken  down  and  we  are 
all  made  perfect  in  the  One.  The  highest  riches  are  possessed 
by  all  pure  souls,  only  when  united.  Thus  we  rise  from  separa- 
tion to  true  individuality  in  unity. 

46.  The  above  are  the  degrees  of  limited  and  conditioned 
spiritual  consciousness,  still  containing  the  seed  of  separateness. 

In  the  four  stages  of  perception  above  described,  the 
spiritual  vision  is  still  working  through  the  mental  and  psychi- 
cal, the  inner  genius  is  still  expressed  through  the  outer,  per- 
sonal man.  The  spiritual  man  has  yet  to  come  completely  to 
consciousness  as  himself,  in  his  own  realm,  the  psychical  veils 
laid  aside. 



47.  When  pure  perception  without  judicial  action  of  the 
mind  is  reached,  there  follows  the  gracious  peace  of  the  inner 

We  have  instanced  certain  types  of  this  pure  perception: 
the  poet's  divination,  whereby  he  sees  the  spirit  within  the  sym- 
bol, likeness  in  things  unlike,  and  beauty  in  all  things ;  the  pure 
insight  of  the  true  philosopher,  whose  vision  rests  not  on  the 
appearances  of  life,  but  on  its  realities ;  or  the  saint's  firm  per- 
ception of  spiritual  life  and  being.  All  these  are  far  advanced 
on  the  way;  they  have  drawn  near  to  the  secret  dwelling  of 

48.  In  that  peace,  perception  is  unfailingly  true. 

The  poet,  the  wise  philosopher  and  the  saint  not  only 
reach  a  wide  and  luminous  consciousness,  but  they  gain  certain 
knowledge  of  substantial  reality.  When  we  know,  we  know 
that  we  know.  For  we  have  come  to  the  stage  where  we  know 
things  by  being  them,  and  than  being  nothing  can  be  more  true. 
We  rest  on  the  rock,  and  know  it  to  be  rock,  rooted  in  the  very 
heart  of  the  world. 

49.  The  object  of  this  perception  is  other  than  what  is 
learned  from  the  sacred  books,  or  by  sound  inference,  since  this 
perception  is  particular. 

The  distinction  is  a  luminous  and  inspiring  one.  The 
Scriptures  teach  general  truths,  concerning  universal  spiritual 
life  and  broad  laws,  and  inference  from  their  teaching  is  not 
less  general.  But  the  spiritual  perception  of  the  awakened  seer 
brings  particular  truth  concerning  his  own  particular  life  and 
needs,  whether  these  be  for  himself  or  others.  He  receives 
defined,  precise  knowledge,  exactly  applying  to  what  he  has  at 


BOOK    I 

50.  The  impress  on  the  consciousness  springing  from  this 
perception  supersedes  all  previous  impressions. 

Each  state  or  field  of  the  mind,  each  field  of  knowledge,  so 
to  speak,  which  is  reached  by  mental  and  emotional  energies, 
is  a  psychical  state,  just  as  the  mind  picture  of  a  stage  with 
the  actors  on  it  is  a  psychical  state  or  field.  When  the  pure 
vision,  as  of  the  poet,  the  philosopher,  the  saint,  fills  the  whole 
field,  all  lesser  views  and  visions  are  crowded  out.  This  high 
consciousness  displaces  all  lesser  consciousness.  Yet,  in  a  cer- 
tain sense,  that  which  is  viewed  as  part,  even  by  the  vision  of 
a  sage,  has  still  an  element  of  illusion,  a  thin  psychical  veil, 
however  pure  and  luminous  that  veil  may  be.  It  is  the  last 
and  highest  psychic  state. 

51.  When  this  impression  ceases,  then,  since  all  impres- 
sions have  ceased,  there  arises  pure  spiritual  consciousness,  with 
no  seed  of  separateness  left. 

The  last  psychic  veil  is  drawn  aside,  and  the  spiritual  man 
stands  with  unveiled  vision,  pure,  serene. 


Introduction  to  Book  II. 

The  first  book  of  Patanjali's  Yoga  Sutras  is  called  the 
Book  of  Spiritual  Consciousness.  The  second  book,  which  we 
now  begin,  is  the  Book  of  the  Means  of  Soul  Growth.  And 
we  must  remember  that  soul  growth  here  means  the  growth 
of  the  realization  of  the  spiritual  man,  or,  to  put  the  matter 
more  briefly,  the  growth  of  the  spiritual  man,  and  the  disen- 
tangling of  the  spiritual  man  from  the  wrappings,  the  veils, 
the  disguises  laid  upon  him  by  the  mind  and  the  psychical 
nature,  wherein  he  is  enmeshed,  like  a  bird  caught  in  a  net. 

The  question  arises :  By  what  means  may  the  spiritual  man 
be  freed  from  these  psychical  meshes  and  disguises,  so  that  he 
may  stand  forth  above  death,  in  his  radiant  eternalness  and 
divine  power?  And  the  second  book  sets  itself  to  answer  this 
very  question,  and  to  detail  the  means  in  a  way  entirely  prac- 
tical and  very  lucid,  so  that  he  who  runs  may  read,  and  he  who 
reads  may  understand  and  practise. 

The  second  part  of  the  second  book  is  concerned  with 
practical  spiritual  training,  that  is,  with  the  earlier  practical 
training  of  the  spiritual  man. 

The  most  striking  thing  in  it  is  the  emphasis  laid  on  the 
Commandments,  which  are  precisely  those  of  the  latter  part  of 
the  Decalogue,  together  with  obedience  to  the  Master.  Our 
day  and  generation  is  far  too  prone  to  fancy  that  there  can  be 
mystical  life  and  growth  on  some  other  foundation,  on  the 
foundation,  for  example,  of  intellectual  curiosity  or  psychical 
selfishness.  In  reality,  on  this  latter  foundation  the  life  of  the 
spiritual  man  can  never  be  built;  nor,  indeed,  anything  but  a 
psychic  counterfeit,  a  dangerous  delusion. 



Therefore  Patanjali,  like  every  great  spiritual  teacher, 
meets  the  question:  What  must  I  do  to  be  saved?  with  the 
age-old  answer:  Keep  the  Commandments.  Only  after  the 
disciple  can  say:  These  have  I  kept,  can  there  be  the  further 
and  finer  teaching  of  the  spiritual  Rules. 

It  is,  therefore,  vital  for  us  to  realize  that  the  Yoga  system, 
like  every  true  system  of  spiritual  teaching,  rests  on  this  broad 
and  firm  foundation  of  honesty,  truth,  cleanness,  obedience. 
Without  these,  there  is  no  salvation;  and  he  who  practises 
these,  even  though  ignorant  of  spiritual  things,  is  laying  up 
treasure  against  the  time  to  come. 


-    * 



i.  The  practices  which  make  for  union  with  the  Soul  are: 
fervent  aspiration,  spiritual  reading,  and  complete  obedience  to 
the  Master. 

The  word  which  I  have  rendered  "fervent  aspiration" 
means  primarily  "fire" ;  and,  in  the  Eastern  teaching,  it  means 
the  fire  which  gives  life  and  light,  and  at  the  same  time  the  fire 
which  purifies.  We  have,  therefore,  as  our  first  practice,  as 
the  first  of  the  means  of  spiritual  growth,  that  fiery  quality  of 
the  will  which  enkindles  and  illumines,  and,  at  the  same  time, 
the  steady  practice  of  purification,  the  burning  away  of  all 
known  impurities.  Spiritual  reading  is  so  universally  accepted 
and  understood,  that  it  needs  no  comment.  The  very  study  of 
Patanjali's  Sutras  is  an  exercise  in  spiritual  reading,  and  a 
very  effective  one.  And  so  with  all  other  books  of  the  soul. 
Obedience  to  the  Master  means,  that  we  shall  make  the  will  of 
the  Master  our  will,  and  shall  conform  in  all  ways  to  the  will 
of  the  Divine,  setting  aside  the  wills  of  self,  which  are  but 
psychic  distortions  of  the  one  Divine  Will.  The  constant  effort 
to  obey  in  all  the  ways  we  know  and  understand,  will  reveal 
new  ways  and  new  tasks,  the  evidence  of  new  growth  of  the 
soul.  Nothing  will  do  more  for  the  spiritual  man  in  us  than 
this,  for  there  is  no  such  regenerating  power  as  the  awakening 
spiritual  will. 



2.  Their  aim  is,  to  bring  soul°vision,  and  to  wear  away 

The  aim  of  fervor,  spiritual  reading  and  obedience  to  the 
Master,  is  ,  to  bring  soul-vision,  and  to  wear  away  barriers. 
Or,  to  use  the  phrase  we  have  already  adopted,  the  aim  of 
these  practices  is,  to  help  the  spiritual  man  to  open  his  eyes ; 
to  help  him  also  to  throw  aside  the  veils  and  disguises,  the  en- 
meshing psychic  nets  which  surround  him,  tying  his  hands,  as 
it  were,  and  bandaging  his  eyes.  And  this,  as  all  teachers 
testify,  is  a  long  and  arduous  task,  a  steady  up-hill  fight,  de- 
manding fine  courage  and  persistent  toil.  Fervor,  the  fire  of 
the  spiritual  will  is,  as  we  said,  two-fold:  it  illumines,  and  so 
helps  the  spiritual  man  to  see;  and  it  also  burns  up  the  nets 
and  meshes  which  ensnare  the  spiritual  man.  So  with  the 
other  means,  spiritual  reading  and  obedience.  Each,  in  its 
action,  is  two- fold,  wearing  away  the  psychical,  and  upbuilding 
the  spiritual  man. 



3.  These  are  the  barriers:  the  darkness  of  unwisdom,  self- 
assertion,  lust,  hate,  attachment. 

Let  us  try  to  translate  this  into  terms  of  the  psychical 
and  spiritual  man.  The  darkness  of  unwisdom  is,  primarily, 
the  self-absorption  of  the  psychical  man,  Jiis  complete  preoccu- 
pation with  his  own  hopes  and  fears,  plans  and  purposes, 
sensations  and  desires,  so  that  he  fails  to  see,  or  refuses  to  see, 
that  there  is  a  spiritual  man ;  and  so  doggedly  resists  all  efforts 
of  the  spiritual  man  to  cast  off  his  psychic  tyrant  and^set  him- 
self free.  This  is  the  real  darkness ;  and  all  those  who  deny 
the  immortality  of  the  soul,  or  deny  the  soul's  existence,  and 
so  lay  out  their  lives  wholly  for  the  psychical,  mortal  man  and 
his  ambitions,  are  under  this  power  of  darkness. 

Born  of  this  darkness,  this  psychic  self-absorption,  is  the 
dogged  conviction  that  the  psychic,  personal  man  has  separate, 
exclusive  interests,  which  he  can  follow  for  himself  alone ;  and 
this  conviction,  when  put  into  practice  in  our  life,  leads  to 
contest  with  other  personalities,  and  so  to  hate.  This  hate, 
again,  makes  against  the  spiritual  man,  since  it  hinders  the 
revelation  of  the  high  harmony  between  the  spiritual  man  and 
his  other  selves,  a  harmony  to  be  revealed  only  through  the 
practice  of  love,  that  perfect  love  which  casts  out  fear. 

In  like  manner,  lust  is  the  psychic  man's  craving  for  the 
stimulus  of  sensation,  the  din  of  which  smothers  the  voice  of 
the  spiritual  man,  as,  in  Shakespeare's  phrase,  the  cackling 
geese  would  drown  the  song  of  the  nightingale.  And  this  crav- 
ing for  stimulus  is  the  fruit  of  weakness,  coming  from  the 
failure  to  find  strength  in  the  primal  life  of  the  spiritual  man. 

Attachment  is  but  another  name  for  psychic  self- absorp- 
tion ;  for  we  are  absorbed,  not  in  outward  things,  but  rather 
in  their  images  within  our  minds ;  our  inner  eyes  are  fixed  on 
them;  our  inner  desires  brood  over  them;  and  so  we  blind 
ourselves  to  the  presence  of  the  prisoner,  the  enmeshed  and 
fettered  spiritual  man. 



4.  The  darkness  of  unwisdom  is  the  field  of  the  others. 
These  barriers  may  be  dormant,  or  worn  thin,  or  suspended,  or 

Here  we  have  really  two  sutras  in  one.  The  first  has  been 
explained  already:  in  the  darkness  of  unwisdom  grow  the 
parasites,  hate,  lust,  attachment.  They  are  all  outgrowths  of 
the  self-absorption  of  the  psychical  self. 

Next,  we  are  told  that  these  barriers  may  be  either  dor- 
mant, or  suspended,  or  expanded,  or  worn  thin.  Faults  which 
are  dormant  will  be  brought  out  through  the  pressure  of  life, 
or  through  the  pressure  of  strong  aspiration.  Thus  expanded, 
they  must  be  fought  and  conquered,  or,  as  Patanjali  quaintly 
says,  they  must  be  worn  thin, — as  a  veil  might,  or  the  links  of 

5.  The  darkness  of  ignorance  is:  holding  that  which  is 
unenduring,  impure,  full  of  pain,  not  the  soul,  to  be  eternal,  pure, 
full  of  joy,  the  soul. 

This  we  have  really  considered  already.  The  psychic  man 
is  unenduring,  impure,  full  of  pain,  not  the  soul,  not  the  real 
Self.  The  spiritual  man  is  enduring,  pure,  full  of  joy,  the  real 
Self.  The  darkness  of  unwisdom  is,  therefore,  the  self-absorp- 
tion of  the  psychical,  personal  man,  to  the  exclusion  of  the 
spiritual  man.  It  is  the  belief,  carried  into  action,  that  the  per- 
sonal man  is  the  real  man,  the  man  for  whom  we  should  toil, 
for  whom  we  should  build,  for  whom  we  should  live.  This  is 
that  psychical  man  of  whom  it  is  said:  he  that  soweth  to  the 
flesh,  shall  of  the  flesh  reap  corruption. 



6.     SeIf=assertion  comes  from  thinking  of  the  Seer  and  the 
instrument  of  vision  as  forming  one  self. 

I  This  is  the  fundamental  idea  of  the  Sankhya  philosophy, 

of  which  the  Yoga  is  avowedly  the  practical  side.  To  translate 
this  into  our  terms,  we  may  say  that  the  Seer  is  the  spiritual 
man;  the  instrument  of  vision  is  the  psychical  man,  through 
which  the  spiritual  man  gains  experience  of  the  outer  world. 
But  we  turn  the  servant  into  the  master.  We  attribute  to  the 
psychical  man,  the  personal  self,  a  reality  which  really  belongs 
to  the  spiritual  man  alone,  and  so,  thinking  of  the  quality  of  the 
spiritual  man  as  belonging  to  the  psychical,  we  merge  the 
spiritual  man  in  the  psychical ;  or,  as  the  text  says,  we  think  of 
the  two  as  forming  one  self. 

7.     Lust  is  the  resting  in  the  sense  of  enjoyment. 

This  has  been  explained  again  and  again.  Sensation,  as, 
for  example,  the  sense  of  taste,  is  meant  to  be  the  guide  to 
action ;  in  this  case,  the  choice  of  wholesome  food,  and  the 
avoidance  of  poisonous  and  hurtful  things.  But  if  we  rest  in 
the  sense  of  taste,  as  a  pleasure  in  itself;  rest,  that  is,  in  the 
psychical  side  of  taste,  we  fall  into  gluttony,  and  live  to  eat, 
instead  of  eating  to  live.  So  with  the  other  great  organic 
power,  the  power  of  reproduction.  This  lust  comes  into  being, 
through  resting  in  the  sensation,  and  looking  for  pleasure  from 

8.     Hate  is  the  resting  in  the  sense  of  pain. 

Pain  comes,  for  the  most  part,  from  the  strife  of  per- 
sonalities, the  jarring  discords  between  psychic  selves,  each  of 
which  deems  itself  supreme.  A  dwelling  on  this  pain  breeds 
hate,  which  tears' the  warring  selves  yet  further  asunder,  and 
puts  new  enmity  between  them,  thus  hindering  the  harmony 
of  the  Real,  the  reconciliation  through  the  soul. 



9.  Attachment  is  the  desire  toward  life,  even  in  the  wise, 
carried  forward  by  its  own  energy. 

The  life  here  desired  is  the  psychic  life,  the  intensely 
vibrating  life  of  the  psychical  self.  This  prevails  even  in  those 
who  have  attained  much  wisdom,  so  long  as  it  falls  short  of  the 
wisdom  of  complete  renunciation,  complete  obedience  to  each 
least  behest  of  the  spiritual  man,  and  of  the  Master  who  guards 
and  aids  the  spiritual  man. 

The  desire  of  sensation,  the  desire  of  psychic  life,  repro- 
duces itself,  carried  on  by  its  own  energy  and  momentum ;  and 
hence  comes  the  circle  of  death  and  rebirth,  death  and  rebirth, 
instead  of  the  liberation  of  the  spiritual  man. 

10.  These  subtle  barriers  are  to  be  removed  by  a  counter- 

The  darkness  of  unwisdom  is  to  be  removed  by  the  light 
of  wisdom,  pursued  through  fervor,  spiritual  reading  of  holy 
teachings  and  of  life  itself,  and  by  obedience  to  the  Master. 

Lust  is  to  be  removed  by  pure  aspiration  of  spiritual  life, 
which,  bringing  true  strength  and  stability,  takes  away  the 
void  of  weakness  which  we  try  to  fill  by  the  stimulus  of  sensa- 

Hate  is  to  be  overcome  by  love.  The  fear  that  arises 
through  the  sense  of  separate,  warring  selves  is  to  be  stilled  by 
the  realization  of  the  One  Self,  the  one  soul  in  all.  This 
realization  is  the  perfect  love  that  casts  out  fear. 

11.     Their  active  turnings  are  to  be  removed  by  meditation. 

Here  is,  in  truth,  the  whole  secret  of  Yoga,  the  science  of 
the  soul.  The  active  turnings,  the  strident  vibrations,  of  self- 
ishness, lust  and  hate  are  to  be  stilled  by  meditation,  by  letting 
heart  and  mind  dwell  in  spiritual  life,  by  lifting  up  the  heart 
to  the  strong,  silent  life  above,  which  rests  in  the  stillness  of 
eternal  love,  and  needs  no  harsh  vibration  to  convince  it  of 
true  being. 



12.  The  burden  of  bondage  to  sorrow  has  its  root  in  these 
barriers.  It  will  be  felt  in  this  life,  or  in  a  life  not  yet  man- 

The  burden  of  bondage  to  sorrow  has  its  root  in  the  dark- 
ness of  unwisdom,  in  selfishness,  in  lust,  in  hate,  in  attachment 
to  sensation.  All  these  are,  in  the  last  analysis,  absorption  in 
the  psychical  self;  and  this  means  sorrow,  because  it  means 
the  sense  of  separateness,  and  this  means  jarring  discord  and 
inevitable  death.  But  the  psychical  self  will  breed  a  new 
psychical  self,  in  a  new  birth,  and  so  new  sorrows  in  a  life  not 
vet  manifest. 

13.  From  this  root  there  grow  and  ripen  the  fruits  of  birth, 
of  the  life-span,  of  all  that  is  tasted  in  life. 

Fully  to  comment  on  this,  would  be  to  write  a  treatise  on 
Karma  and  its  practical  working  in  detail,  whereby  the  place 
and  time  of  the  next  birth,  its  content  and  duration,  are  de- 
termined ;  and  to  do  this  the  present  commentator  is  in  no  wise 
fitted.  But  this  much  is  clearly  understood:  that,  through  a 
kind  of  spiritual  gravitation,  the  incarnating  self  is  drawn  to 
a  home  and  life-circle  which  will  give  it  scope  and  discipline; 
and  its  need  of  discipline  is  clearly  conditioned  by  its  character, 
its  standing,  its  accomplishment. 

14.  These  bear  fruits  of  rejoicing  or  of  affliction,  as  they 
are  sprung  from  holy  or  unholy  works. 

Since  holiness  is  obedience  to  divine  law,  to  the  law  of 
divine  harmony,  and  obedience  to  harmony  strengthens  that 
harmony  in  the  soul,  which  is  the  one  true  joy,  therefore  joy 
comes  of  holiness:  comes,  indeed,  in  no  other  way.  And  as 
unholiness  is  disobedience,  and  therefore  discord,  therefore 
unholiness  makes  for  pain ;  and  this  two-fold  law  is  true, 
whether  the  cause  take  effect  in  this,  or  in  a  yet  unmanifested 



15.  To  him  who  possesses  discernment,  all  personal  life  is 
misery,  because  it  ever  waxes  and  wanes,  is  ever  afflicted  with 
restlessness,  makes  ever  new  dynamic  impresses  in  the  mind; 
and  because  all  its  activities  war  with  each  other. 

The  whole  life  of  the  psychic  self  is  misery,  because  it  ever 
waxes  and  wanes ;  because  birth  brings  inevitable  death ;  be- 
cause there  is  no  expectation  without  its  shadow,  fear.  The  life 
of  the  psychic  self  is  misery,  because  it  is  afflicted  with  restless- 
ness ;  so  that  he  who  has  much,  finds  not  satisfaction,  but 
rather  the  whetted  hunger  for  more.  The  fire  is  not  quenched 
by  pouring  oil  on  it ;  so  desire  is  not  quenched  by  the  satisfac- 
tion of  desire.  Again,  the  life  of  the  psychic  self  is  misery, 
because  it  makes  ever  new  dynamic  impresses  in  the  mind; 
because  a  desire  satisfied  is  but  the  seed  from  which  springs  the 
desire  to  find  like  satisfaction  again.  The  appetite  comes  in 
eating,  as  the  proverb  says,  and  grows  by  what  it  feeds  on. 
And  the  psychic  self,  torn  with  conflicting  desires,  is  ever  the 
house  divided  against  itself,  which  must  surely  fall. 

16.     This  pain  is  to  be  warded  off,  before  it  has  come. 

In  other  words,  wre  cannot  cure  the  pains  of  life  by  laying 
on  them  any  balm.  We  must  cut  the  root,  absorption  in  the 
psychical  self.  So  it  is  said,  there  is  no  cure  for  the  misery  of 
longing,  but  to  fix  the  heart  upon  the  eternal. 

17.  The  cause  of  what  is  to  be  warded  off,  is  the  absorp- 
tion of  the  Seer  in  things  seen. 

Here  again  we  have  the  fundamental  idea  of  the  Sankhya, 
which  is  the  intellectual  counterpart  of  the  Yoga  system.  The 
cause  of  what  is  to  be  warded  off,  the  root  of  misery,  is  the 
absorption  of  consciousness  in  the  psychical  man  and  the  things 
which  beguile  the  psychical  man.    The  cure  is  liberation. 




1 8.  Things  seen  have  as  their  property  manifestation,  act= 
ion,  inertia.  They  form  the  basis  of  the  elements  and  the  sense- 
powers.     They  make  for  experience  and  for  liberation. 

Here  is  a  whole  philosophy  of  life.  Things  seen,  the  total 
of  the  phenomenal,  possess  as  their  property  manifestation, 
action,  inertia :  the  qualities  of  force  and  matter  in  combination. 
These,  in  their  grosser  form,  make  the  material  world ;  in  their 
finer,  more  subjective  form,  they  make  the  psychical  world,  the 
world  of  sense-impressions  and  mind-images.  And  through 
this  totality  of  the  phenomenal  the  soul  gains  experience,  and 
is  prepared  for  liberation.  In  other  words,  the  whole  outer 
world  exists  for  the  purposes  of  the  soul,  and  finds  in  this  its 
true  reason  for  being. 

19.  The  grades  or  layers  of  the  Three  Potencies  are  the 
defined,  the  undefined,  that  with  distinctive  mark,  that  without 
distinctive  mark. 

Or,  as  we  might  say,  there  are  two  strata  of  the  physical, 
and  two  strata  of  the  psychical  realms.  In  each,  there  is  the 
side  of  form,  and  the  side  of  force.  The  form  side  of  the 
physical  is  here  called  the  defined.  The  force  side  of  the 
physical  is  the  undefined,  that  which  has  no  boundaries.  So 
in  the  psychical;  there  is  the  form  side,  that  with  distinctive 
marks,  such  as  the  characteristic  features  of  mind-images ;  and 
there  is  the  force  side,  without  distinctive  marks,  such  as  the 
forces  of  desire  or  fear,  which  may  flow  now  to  this  mind- 
image,  now  to  that. 

20.  The  Seer  is  pure  vision.  Though  pure,  he  looks  out 
through  the  vesture  of  the  mind. 

The  Seer,  as  always,  is  the  spiritual  man  whose  deepest 
consciousness  is  pure  vision,  the  pure  life  of  the  eternal.  But 
the  spiritual  man,  as  yet  unseeing  in  his  proper  person,  looks 
out  on  the  world  through  the  eyes  of  the  psychical  man,  by 
whom  he  is  enfolded  and  enmeshed.  The  task  is,  to  set  this 
prisoner  free,  to  clear  the  dust  of  ages  from  this  buried  temple. 



SI.  The  very  essence  of  things  seen  is,  that  they  exist  for 
the  Seer. 

The  things  of  outer  life,  not  only  material  things,  but  the 
psychic  man  also,  exist  in  very  deed  for  the  purposes  of  the 
Seer,  the  soul,  the  spiritual  man.  Disaster  comes,  when  the 
psychical  man  sets  up,  so  to  speak,  on  his  own  account,  trying 
to  live  for  himself  alone,  and  taking  material  things  to  solace 
his  loneliness. 

22.  Though  fallen  away  from  him  who  has  reached  the 
goal,  things  seen  have  not  altogether  fallen  away,  since  they  still 
exist  for  others. 

When  one  of  us  conquers  hate,  hate  does  not  thereby 
cease  out  of  the  world,  since  others  still  hate  and  suffer  hatred. 
So  with  other  delusions,  which  hold  us  in  bondage  to  material 
things,  and  through  which  we  look  at  all  material  things. 
When  the  colored  veil  of  illusion  is  gone,  the  world  which  we 
saw  through  it  is  also  gone,  for  now  we  see  life  as  it  is,  in  the 
white  radiance  of  eternity.  But  for  others  the  colored  veil 
remains,  and  therefore  the  world  thus  colored  by  it  remains 
for  them,  and  will  remain  till  they,  too,  conquer  delusion. 

23.  The  association  of  the  Seer  with  things  seen  is  the 
cause  of  the  realizing  of  the  nature  of  things  seen,  and  also  of 
the  realizing  of  the  nature  of  the  Seer. 

Life  is  educative.  All  life's  infinite  variety  is  for  dis- 
cipline, for  the  development  of  the  soul.  So  passing  through 
many  lives,  the  soul  learns  the  secrets  of  the  world,  the  august 
laws  that  are  written  in  the  form  of  the  snow-crystal  or  the 
majestic  order  of  the  stars.  But  all  these  laws  are  but  reflec- 
tions, but  projections  outward,  of  the  laws  of  the  soul ;  there- 
fore in  learning  these,  the  soul  learns  to  know  itself.  All  life 
is  but  the  mirror  wherein  the  soul  learns  to  know  its  own  face. 



24.  The  cause  of  this  association  is  the  darkness  of  un- 

The  darkness  of  unwisdom  is  the  absorption  of  conscious- 
ness in  the  personal  life,  and  in  the  things  seen  by  the  personal 
life.  This  is  the  fall,  through  which  comes  experience,  the 
learning  of  the  lessons  of  life.  When  they  are  learned,  the  day 
of  redemption  is  at  hand. 

25.  The  bringing  of  this  association  to  an  end,  by  bringing 
the  darkness  of  unwisdom  to  an  end,  is  the  great  liberation;  this 
is  the  Seer's  attainment  of  his  own  pure  being. 

When  the  spiritual  man  has,  through  the  psychical,  learned 
all  life's  lessons,  the  time  has  come  for  him  to  put  off  the  veil 
and  disguise  of  the  psychical  and  to  stand  revealed  a  King,  in 
the  house  of  the  Father.  So  shall  he  enter  into  his  kingdom, 
and  go  no  more  out. 

26.  A  discerning  which  is  carried  on  perpetually  is  the 
means  of  liberation. 

Here  we  come  close  to  the  pure  Vedanta,  with  its  dis- 
cernment between  the  eternal  and  the  temporal.  St.  Paul, 
following  after  Philo  and  Plato,  lays  down  the  same  funda- 
mental principle:  the  things  seen  are  temporal,  the  things 
unseen  are  eternal. 

Patanjali  means  something  more  than  an  intellectual 
assent,  though  this  too  is  vital.  He  has  in  view  a  constant  dis- 
criminating in  act  as  well  as  thought;  of  the  two  ways  which 
present  themselves  for  every  deed  or  choice,  always  to  choose 
the  higher  way,  that  which  makes  for  the  things  eternal: 
honesty  rather  than  roguery,  courage  and  not  cowardice,  the 
things  of  another  rather  than  one's  own,  sacrifice  and  not  in- 
dulgence. This  true  discernment,  carried  out  constantly, 
makes  for  liberation. 



27.  The  soul  vision  which  is  the  final  goal  of  liberation  is 

The  sevenfold  consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man,  who 
stands  forth  liberated  from  psychic  trammels,  is  more  fully  set 
forth  in  the  later  sutras.  It  is  a  consciousness  of  the  eternal, 
the  blissful,  the  pure.  In  the  text,  we  are  not  told  what  the 
seven  qualities  of  this  consciousness  are,  so  that  for  explana- 
tion we  must  have  recourse  to  the  commentary.  There  we  are 
told  that  the  temporal  mind,  not  yet  liberated,  has  these  seven 
characteristics :  first,  the  desire  to  know ;  second,  the  desire  to 
be  free ;  third,  the  desire  of  bliss ;  fourth,  the  desire  to  fulfill  all 
duties ;  fifth,  the  quality  of  sorrow ;  sixth,  the  touch  of  fear ; 
seventh,  the  chill  paralysis  of  doubt. 

These  are  the  shadows  of  the  sevenfold  consciousness, of 
the  liberated  spiritual  man,  who,  instead  of  the  first,  has  firmly 
established  wisdom ;  instead  of  the  second,  realized  liberation ; 
instead  of  the  third,  a  deep  and  ever  increasing  delight ;  instead 
of  the  fourth,  the  certainty  that  all  duties  are  fulfilled :  I  have 
finished  the  work  which  thou  gavest  me  to  do;  and,  for  the 
fifth,  sixth  and  seventh,  joy,  fearlessness  and  the  firm-set  being 
of  the  Eternal. 

28.  From  steadfastly  following  after  the  means  of  Yoga, 
until  impurity  is  worn  away,  there  comes  the  light  of  wisdom  in 
full  discernment. 

Here,  we  enter  on  the  more  detailed  practical  teaching  of 
Patanjali,  with  its  sound  and  luminous  good  sense.  And, 
when  we  come  to  detail  the  means  of  Yoga,  we  shall  be  aston- 
ished at  their  simplicity.  There  is  little  that  is  mysterious  in 
them.  They  are  very  familiar.  The  essence  of  the  matter  lies 
in  carrying  them  out. 



29.  The  eight  means  of  Yoga  are:  the  Commandments,  the 
Rules,  right  Poise,  right  Control  of  the  life-force,  Withdrawal, 
Concentration,  Meditation,  Illumination. 

These  eight  means  are  to  be  followed  in  their  order,  in 
the  sense  which  will  immediately  be  made  clear.  We  can  get 
a  ready  understanding  of  the  first  two,  by  comparing  them  with 
the  Commandments  which  must  be  obeyed  by  all  good  citizens, 
and  the  Rules  which  are  laid  on  the  members  of  religious 
orders.  Until  one  has  fulfilled  the  first,  it  is  futile  to  concern 
oneself  with  the  second.  And  so  with  all  the  means  of  Yoga. 
They  must  be  taken  in  their  order. 

30.  The  Commandments  are  these:  noninjury,  truthful- 
ness,  abstaining  from  stealing,  from  impurity,  from  covetousness. 

These  five  precepts  are  almost  exactly  the  same  as  the 
Buddhist  Commandments :  not  to  kill,  not  to  steal,  not  to  be 
guilty  of  incontinence,  not  to  drink  intoxicants,  to  speak  the 
truth.  Almost  identical  is  St.  Paul's  list:  Thou  shalt  not  com- 
mit adultery,  thou  shalt  not  kill,  thou  shalt  not  steal,  thou  shalt 
not  covet.  And  in  the  same  spirit  is  the  answer  made  to  the 
young  man  having  great  possessions,  who  asked,  What  shall 
I  do  to  be  saved,  and  received  the  reply :  Keep  the  Command- 

This  broad,  general  training,  which  forms  and  develops 
human  character,  must  be  accomplished  to  a  very  considerable 
degree,  before  there  can  be  much  hope  of  success  in  the  further 
stages  of  spiritual  life.  First  the  psychical,  and  then  the 
spiritual.    First  the  man,  then  the  angel. 

On  this  broad,  humane  and  wise  foundation  does  the  sys- 
tem of  Patanjali  rest. 



31.  The  Commandments  are  not  limited  to  any  race,  place, 
time  or  age.     They  are  universal;  they  are  the  great  obligation. 

The  Commandments  form  the  broad  general  training  of 
humanity.  Each  one  of  them  rests  on  a  universal  spiritual 
law.  Each  one  of  them  expresses  an  attribute  or  aspect  of  the 
Self,  the  Eternal ;  when  we  violate  one  of  the  Commandments, 
we  set  ourselves  against  the  law  and  being  of  the  Eternal, 
thereby  bringing  ourselves  to  inevitable  confusion.  So  the  first 
steps  in  spiritual  life  must  be  taken  by  bringing  ourselves  into 
voluntary  obedience  to  these  spiritual  laws,  and  thus  making 
ourselves  partakers  of  the  spiritual  powers,  the  being  of  the 
Eternal.  Like  the  law  of  gravity,  the  need  of  air  to  breathe, 
these  great  laws  know  no  exceptions.  They  are  in  force  in  all 
lands,  throughout  all  times,  for  all  mankind. 

32.  The  Rules  are  these:  purity,  serenity,  fervent  aspira- 
tion, spiritual  reading,  and  perfect  obedience  to  the  Master. 

Here  we  have  a  finer  law,  one  which  humanity  as  a  whole 
is  less  ready  for,  less  fit  to  obey.  Yet  we  can  see  that  these 
Rules  are  the  same  in  essence  as  the  Commandments,  but  on  a 
higher,  more  spiritual  plane.  The  Commandments  may  be 
obeyed  in  outer  acts  and  abstinences ;  the  Rules  demand  obed- 
ience of  the  heart  and  spirit,  a  far  more  awakened  and  more 
positive  consciousness.  The  Rules  are  the  spiritual  counter- 
part of  the  Commandments;  and  they  themselves  have  finer 
degrees,  for  more  advanced  spiritual  growth. 



33.  To  conquer  transgressions,  the  weight  of  the  imagina- 
tion should  be  thrown  on  the  opposite  side. 

Let  us  take  a  simple  case,  that  of  a  thief,  a  habitual  crim- 
inal, who  has  drifted  into  stealing  in  childhood,  before  the 
moral  consciousness  has  awakened.  We  may  imprison  such 
a  thief,  and  deprive  him  of  all  possibility  of  further  theft,  or 
of  using  the  divine  gift  of  will.  Or  we  may  recognize  his  dis- 
advantages, and  help  him  gradually  to  build  up  possessions 
which  express  his  will,  and  draw  forth  his  self-respect.  If  we 
imagine  that,  after  he  has  built  well,  and  his  possessions  have 
become  dear  to  him,  he  himself  should  be  robbed,  then  we  can 
see  how  he  would  come  vividly  to  realize  the  essence  of  theft 
and  of  honesty,  and  would  cleave  to  honest  dealings  with  firm 
conviction.  In  some  such  way  does  the  great  Law  teach  us. 
Our  sorrows  and  losses  teach  us  the  pain  of  the  sorrow  and 
loss  we  inflict  on  others,  and  so  we  cease  to  inflict  them. 

Now  as  to  the  more  direct  application.  To  conquer  a  sin, 
let  heart  and  mind  rest,  not  on  the  sin,  but  on  the  contrary 
virtue.  Let  the  sin  be  forced  out  by  positive  growth  in  the 
true  direction,  not  by  direct  opposition.  Turn  away  from  the 
sin  and  go  forward  courageously,  constructively,  creatively,  in 
well-doing.  In  this  way  the  whole  nature  will  gradually  be 
drawn  up  to  the  higher  level,  on  which  the  sin  does  not  even 
exist.  The  conquest  of  a  sin  is  a  matter  of  growth  and  evolu- 
tion, rather  than  of  opposition. 



34.  Transgressions  are  injury,  falsehood,  theft,  incon- 
tinence, envy,  whether  committed,  or  caused,  or  assented  to, 
through  greed,  wrath,  or  infatuation;  whether  faint,  or  middl  ng, 
or  excessive;  bearing  endless  fruit  of  ignorance  and  pain.  There- 
fore must  the  weight  be  cast  on  the  other  side. 

Here  are  the  causes  of  sin :  greed,  wrath,  infatuation,  with 
their  effects,  ignorance  and  pain.  The  causes  are  to  be  cured 
by  better  wisdom,  by  a  truer  understanding  of  the  Self,  of  Life. 
For  greed  cannot  endure  before  the  realization  that  the  whole 
world  belongs  to  the  Self,  which  Self  we  are ;  nor  can  we  hold 
wrath  against  one  who  is  one  with  the  Self,  and  therefore  with 
ourselves ;  nor  can  infatuation,  which  is  the  seeking  for  the 
happiness  of  the  All  in  some  limited  part  of  it,  survive  the 
knowledge  that  we  are  heirs  of  the  All.  Therefore  let  thought 
and  imagination,  mind  and  heart,  throw  their  weight  on  the 
other  side ;  the  side,  not  of  the  world,  but  of  the  Self. 

35.  Where  non-injury  is  perfected,  all  enmity  ceases  in  the 
presence  of  him  who  possesses  it. 

We  come  now  to  the  spiritual  powers  which  result  from 
keeping  the  Commandments ;  from  the  obedience  to  spiritual 
law  which  is  the  keeping  of  the  Commandments.  Where  the 
heart  is  full  of  kindness  which  seeks  no  injury  to  another,  either 
in  act  or  thought  or  wish,  this  full  love  creates  an  atmosphere 
of  harmony,  whose  benign  power  touches  with  healing  all  who 
come  within  its  influence.  Peace  in  the  heart  radiates  peace 
to  other  hearts,  even  more  surely  than  contention  breeds  con- 




36.  Where  truth  is  perfected,  it  brings  the  reward  of  all 

Here  is  implied  the  belief  that  all  sacrificial  rites  and  acts 
of  worship  win  a  necessary  reward  from  the  celestial  powers; 
and  we  are  told  that  he  who  is  perfected  in  truth  wins  these 
rewards  without  rites.  The  power  of  truth  in  his  soul,  his 
oneness  with  the  truth  and  reality  of  things,  is  a  strong,  inev- 
itable force,  to  which  all  things  respond,  as  he  who  has  faith 
can  remove  mountains. 

37.  Where  cessation  from  theft  is  perfected,  all  treasures 
present  themselves  to  him  who  possesses  it. 

Here  is  a  sentence  which  may  warn  us  that,  beside  the 
outer  and  apparent  meaning,  there  is  in  many  of  these  sentences 
a  second  and  finer  significance.  The  obvious  meaning  is,  that 
he  who  has  wholly  ceased  from  theft,  in  act,  thought  and  wish, 
finds  buried  treasures  in  his  path,  treasures  of  jewels  and  gold 
and  pearls.  The  deeper  truth  is,  that  he  who  in  every  least 
thing  is  wholly  honest  with  the  spirit  of  Life,  finds  Life  sup- 
porting him  in  all  things,  and  gains  admittance  to  the  treasure 
house  of  Life,  the  spiritual  universe. 

38.  For  him  who  is  perfect  in  continence,  the  reward  is 
valor  and  virility. 

The  creative  power,  strong  and  full  of  vigor,  is  no  longer 
dissipated,  but  turned  to  spiritual  uses.  It  upholds  and  endows 
the  spiritual  man,  conferring  on  him  the  creative  will,  the 
power  to  engender  spiritual  children  instead  of  bodily  progeny. 
An  epoch  of  life,  that  of  man  the  animal,  has  come  to  an  end ; 
a  new  epoch,  that  of  the  spiritual  man,  is  opened.  The  old 
creative  power  is  superseded  and  transcended ;  a  new  creative 
power,  that  of  the  spiritual  man,  takes  its  place,  carrying  with 
it  the  power  to  work  creatively  in  others  for  righteousness  and 
eternal  life. 



39.  Where  there  is  firm  conquest  of  covetousness,  he  who 
has  conquered  it  awakes  to  the  how  and  why  of  life. 

So  it  is  said  that,  before  we  can  understand  the  laws  of 
Karma,  we  must  free  ourselves  from  Karma.  The  conquest  of 
covetousness  brings  this  rich  fruit,  because  the  root  of  covet- 
ousness is  the  desire  of  the  individual  soul,  the  will  toward 
manifested  life.  And  where  the  desire  of  the  individual  soul  is 
overcome  by  the  superb,  still  life  of  the  universal  Soul  welling 
up  in  the  heart  within,  the  great  secret  is  discerned,  the  secret 
that  the  individual  soul  is  not  an  isolated  reality,  but  the  ray, 
the  manifest  instrument  of  the  Life,  which  turns  it  this  way 
and  that  until  the  great  work  is  accomplished,  the  age-long 
lesson  learned.  Thus  is  the  how  and  why  of  life  disclosed  by 
ceasing  from  coveteousness. 

40.  Through  purity  comes  a  withdrawal  from  one's  own 
bodily  life,  a  ceasing  from  infatuation  with  the  bodily  life  of 

As  the  spiritual  light  grows  in  the  heart  within,  as  the 
taste  for  pure  Life  grows  stronger,  the  consciousness  opens 
toward  the  great,  secret  places  within  where  all  life  is  one, 
where  all  lives  are  one.  Thereafter,  this  outer,  manifested, 
fugitive  life,  whether  of  ourselves  or  of  others,  loses  something 
of  its  charm  and  glamor,  and  we  seek  rather  the  deep  infini- 
tudes. Instead  of  the  outer  form  and  surroundings  of  our 
lives,  we  long  for  their  inner  and  everlasting  essence.  We 
desire  not  so  much  outer  converse  and  closeness  to  our  friends, 
but  rather  that  quiet  communion  with  them  in  the  inner  cham- 
ber of  the  soul,  where  spirit  speaks  to  spirit,  and  spirit  answers ; 
where  alienation  and  separation  never  enter;  where  sickness 
and  sorrow  and  death  cannot  come. 



41.  To  the  pure  of  heart  come  also  a  quiet  spirit,  one- 
pointed  thought,  the  victory  over  sensuality,  and  fitness  to  behold 
the  Soul. 

Blessed  are  the  pure  in  heart,  for  they  shall  see  God,  who 
is  the  supreme  Soul ;  the  ultimate  Self  of  all  beings.  In  the 
deepest  sense,  purity  means  fitness  for  this  vision,  and  also  a 
heart  cleansed  from  all  disquiet,  from  all  wandering  and  un- 
bridled thought,  from  the  torment  of  sensuous  imaginings; 
and  when  the  spirit  is  thus  cleansed  and  pure,  it  becomes  at 
one  in  essence  with  its  source,  the  great  Spirit,  the  primal  Life. 
One  consciousness  now  thrills  through  both,  for  the  psychic 
partition  wall  is  broken  down.  Then  shall  the  pure  in  heart 
see  God,  because  they  become  God. 

42.     From  acceptance,  the  disciple  gains  happiness  supreme. 

One  of  the  wise  has  said :  accept  conditions,  accept  others, 
accept  yourself.  This  is  the  true  acceptance,  for  all  these 
things  are  what  they  are  through  the  will  of  the  higher  Self, 
except  their  deficiencies,  which  come  through  thwarting  the 
will  of  the  higher  Self,  and  can  be  conquered  only  through 
compliance  with  that  will.  By  the  true  acceptance,  the  disciple 
comes  into  oneness  of  spirit  with  the  overruling  Soul ;  and, 
since  the  own-nature  of  the  Soul  is  being,  happiness,  bliss,  he 
comes  thereby  into  happiness  supreme. 



43.  The  perfection  of  the  powers  of  the  bodily  vesture 
comes  through  the  wearing  away  of  impurities,  and  through 
fervent  aspiration. 

This  is  true  of  the  physical  powers,  and  of  those  which 
dwell  in  the  higher  vestures.  There  must  be,  first,  purity ;  as 
the  blood  must  be  pure,  before  one  can  attain  to  physical  health. 
But  absence  of  impurity  is  not  in  itself  enough,  else  would 
many  nerveless  ascetics  of  the  cloisters  rank  as  high  saints. 
There  is  needed,  further,  a  positive  fire  of  the  will ;  a  keen  vital 
vigor  for  the  physical  powers,  and  something  finer,  purer, 
stronger,  but  of  kindred  essence,  for  the  higher  powers.  The 
fire  of  genius  is  something  more  than  a  phrase,  for  there  can 
be  no  genius  without  the  celestial  fire  of  the  awakened  spiritual 

44.  Through  spiritual  reading,  the  disciple  gains  communion 
with  the  divine  Power  on  which  his  heart  is  set. 

Spiritual  reading  meant,  for  ancient  India,  something 
more  than  it  does  with  us.  It  meant,  first,  the  recital  of  sacred 
texts,  which,  in  their  very  sounds,  had  mystical  potencies ;  and 
it  meant  a  recital  of  texts  which  were  in  themselves  divinely 
emanated,  and  held  in  themselves  the  living,  potent  essence  of 
the  divine. 

For  us,  spiritual  reading  means  a  communing  with  the 
recorded  teachings  of  the  Masters  of  wisdom,  whereby  we  read 
ourselves  into  the  Master's  mind,  just  as  through  his  music  one 
can  enter  into  the  mind  and  soul  of  the  master  musician.  It 
has  been  well  said  that  all  true  art  is  contagion  of  feeling;  so 
that  through  the  true  reading  of  true  books  we  do  indeed  read 
ourselves  into  the  spirit  of  the  Masters,  and  share  in  the  atmo- 
sphere of  their  wisdom  and  power. 




45.  Soul=vision  is  perfected  through  perfect  obedience  to 
the  Master. 

The  sorrow  and  darkness  of  life  come  of  the  erring  per- 
sonal will  which  sets  itself  against  the  will  of  the  Soul,  the  one 
great  Life.  The  error  of  the  personal  will  is  inevitable,  since 
each  will  must  be  free  to  choose,  to  try  and  fail,  and  so  to  find 
the  path.  And  sorrow  and  darkness  are  inevitable,  until  the 
path  be  found,  and  the  personal  will  made  once  more  one  with 
the  greater  Will,  wherein  it  finds  rest  and  power,  without  losing 
freedom.  In  His  will  is  our  peace.  And  with  that  peace  comes 
light.    Soul-vision  is  perfected  through  obedience. 

46.     Right  poise  must  be  firm  and  without  strain. 

Here  we  approach  a  section  of  the  teaching  which  has 
manifestly  a  two-fold  meaning.  The  first  is  physical,  and  con- 
cerns the  bodily  position  of  the  student,  and  the  regulation  of 
breathing.  These  things  have  their  direct  influence  upon  soul- 
life,  the  life  of  the  spiritual  man,  since  it  is  always  and  every- 
where true  that  our  study  demands  a  sound  mind  in  a  sound 
body.  The  present  sentence  declares  that,  for  work  and  for 
meditation,  the  position  of  the  body  must  be  steady  and  with- 
out strain,  in  order  that  the  finer  currents  of  life  may  run  their 

It  applies  further  to  the  poise  of  the  soul,  that  fine  balance 
and  stability  which  nothing  can  shake,  where  the  consciousness 
rests  on  the  firm  foundation  of  spiritual  being.  This  is  indeed 
the  house  set  upon  a  rock,  which  the  winds  and  waves  beat 
upon  in  vain. 



47*  Right  poise  is  to  be  gained  by  steady  and  temperate 
effort,  and  by  setting  the  heart  upon  the  everlasting. 

Here  again,   there  is  the  twofold  meaning,   for  physical  I 
poise  is  to  be  gained  by  steady  effort  of  the  muscles,  by  gradual   i 
and  wise  training,  linked  with  a  right  understanding  of,  and    i 
relation  with,  the  universal  force  of  gravity.     Uprightness  of 
body  demands  that  both  these  conditions  shall  be  fulfilled. 

In  like  manner  the  firm  and  upright  poise  of  the  spiritual 
man  is  to  be  gained  by  steady  and  continued  effort,  always 
guided  by  wisdom,  and  by  setting  the  heart  on  the  Eternal, 
filling  the  soul  with  the  atmosphere  of  the  spiritual  world. 
Neither  is  effective  without  the  other.  Aspiration  without 
effort  brings  weakness ;  effort  without  aspiration  brings  a  false 
strength,  not  resting  on  enduring  things.  The  two  together 
make  for  the  right  poise  which  sets  the  spiritual  man  firmly 
and  steadfastly  on  his  feet. 

48.  The  fruit  of  right  poise  is  the  strength  to  resist  the 
shocks  of  infatuation  or  sorrow. 

In  the  simpler  physical  sense,  which  is  also  covered  by  the 
wording  of  the  original,  this  sentence  means  that  wise  effort 
establishes  such  bodily  poise  that  the  accidents  of  things  cannot 
disturb  it,  as  the  captain  remains  steady,  though  disaster  over- 
take his  ship. 

But  the  deeper  sense  is  far  more  important.  The  spiritual 
man  too  must  learn  to  withstand  all  shocks,  to  remain  steadfast 
through  the  perturbations  of  external  things  and  the  storms 
and  whirlwinds  of  the  psychical  world.  This  is  the  power 
which  is  gained  by  wise,  continuous  effort,  and  by  filling  the 
spirit  with  the  atmosphere  of  the  Eternal. 



49.  When  this  is  gained,  there  follows  the  right  guidance 
of  the  life=currents,  the  control  of  the  incoming  and  outgoing 

It  is  well  understood  to-day  that  most  of  our  maladies 
come  from  impure  conditions  of  the  blood.  It  is  coming  to 
be  understood  that  right  breathing,  right  oxygenation,  will  do 
very  much  to  keep  the  blood  clean  and  pure.  Therefore  a  right 
knowledge  of  breathing  is  a  part  of  the  science  of  life. 

But  the  deeper  meaning  is,  that  the  spiritual  man,  when 
he  has  gained  poise  through  right  effort  and  aspiration,  can 
stand  firm  and  guide  the  currents  of  his  life,  both  the  incoming 
current  of  events,  and  the  outgoing  current  of  his  acts. 

Exactly  the  same  symbolism  is  used  in  the  saying:  Not 
that  which  goeth  into  the  mouth  defileth  a  man ;  but  that  which 
cometh  out  of  the  mouth,  this  defileth  a  man.  .  .  .  Those 
things  which  proceed  out  of  the  mouth  come  forth  from  the 
heart  .  .  .  out  of  the  heart  proceed  evil  thoughts,  murders, 
uncleanness,  thefts,  false  witness,  blasphemies.  Therefore  the 
first  step  in  purification  is  to  keep  the  Commandments. 

50.  The  life=current  is  either  outward,  or  inward,  or  bal= 
anced;  it  is  regulated  according  to  place,  time,  number;  it  is 
either  long  or  short. 

The  technical,  physical  side  of  this  has  its  value.  In  the 
breath,  there  should  be  right  inbreathing,  followed  by  the 
period  of  pause,  when  the  air  comes  into  contact  with  the 
blood,  and  this  again  followed  by  right  outbreathing,  even, 
steady,  silent.  Further,  the  lungs  should  be  evenly  filled; 
many  maladies  may  arise  from  the  neglect  and  consequent 
weakening,  of  some  region  of  the  lungs.  And  the  number  of 
breaths  is  so  important,  so  closely  related  to  health,  that  every 
bulletin  records  it. 

But  the  deeper  meaning  is  concerned  with  the  currents  of 
life;  with  that  which  goeth  into,  and  cometh  out  of  the  heart. 



51.  The  fourth  degree  is  concerned  with  external  and  in- 
ternal objects. 

The  traditional  interpretation  of  this  is,  that  it  is  concerned 
with  the  relation  of  the  breath  to  certain  centers  in  the  body,  in 
which  are  nerve-forces  related  to  exceptional  astral  powers; 
and  the  commentators  detail  the  centers  and  their  forces. 

The  inner  meaning  seems  to  be  that,  in  addition  to  the 
three  degrees  of  control  already  described,  control,  that  is,  over 
the  incoming  current  of  life,  over  the  outgoing  current,  and 
over  the  condition  of  pause  or  quiesence,  there  is  a  fourth 
degree  of  control,  which  holds  in  complete  mastery  both  the 
outer  passage  of  events  and  the  inner  currents  of  thoughts  and 
emotions ;  a  condition  of  perfect  poise  and  stability  in  the  midst 
of  the  flux  of  things  outward  and  inward. 

52.  Thereby  is  worn  away  the  veil  which  covers  up  the 

The  veil  is  the  psychic  nature,  the  web  of  emotions,  desires, 
argumentative  trains  of  thought,  which  cover  up  and  obscure 
the  truth  by  absorbing  the  entire  attention  and  keeping  the  con- 
sciousness in  the  psychic  realm.  When  hopes  and  fears  are 
reckoned  at  their  true  worth,  in  comparison  with  lasting  pos- 
sessions of  the  Soul ;  when  the  outer  reflections  of  things  have 
ceased  to  distract  us  from  inner  realities ;  when  argumentative 
thought  no  longer  entangles  us,  but  yields  its  place  to  flashing 
intuition,  the  certainty  which  springs  from  within,  then  is  the 
veil  worn  away,  the  consciousness  is  drawn  from  the  psychical 
to  the  spiritual,  from  the  temporal  to  the  Eternal.  Then  is  the 
light  unveiled. 



53.  Thence  conies  the  mind's  power  to  hold  itself  in  the 

It  has  been  well  said,  that  what  we  most  need  is  the  faculty 
of  spiritual  attention ;  and,  in  the  same  direction  of  thought  it 
has  been  eloquently  declared  that  prayer  does  not  consist  in 
our  catching  God's  attention,  but  rather  in  our  allowing  God 
to  hold  our  attention. 

The  vital  matter  is,  that  we  need  to  disentangle  our  con- 
sciousness from  the  noisy  and  perturbed  thraldom  of  the 
psychical,  and  to  come  to  consciousness  as  the  spiritual  man. 
This  we  must  do,  first,  by  purification,  through  the  Command- 
ments and  the  Rules ;  and,  second,  through  the  faculty  of 
spiritual  attention,  by  steadily  heeding  endless  fine  intimations 
of  the  spiritual  power  within  us,  and  by  intending  our  con- 
sciousness thereto;  thus  by  degrees  transferring  the  center  of 
consciousness  from  the  psychical  to  the  spiritual.  It  is  a  ques- 
tion, first,  of  love,  and  then  of  attention. 



54.  The  right  Withdrawal  is  the  disengaging  of  the  powers 
from  entanglement  in  outer  things,  and  their  return  to  the  quality 
of  consciousness. 

To  understand  this,  let  us  reverse  the  process,  and  think 
of  the  one  consciousness,  centered  in  the  Soul,  gradually  ex- 
panding and  taking  on  the  form  of  the  different  perceptive 
powers;  the  one  will,  at  the  same  time,  differentiating  itself 
into  the  varied  powers  of  action. 

Now  let  us  imagine  this  to  be  reversed,  so  that  the  spiritual 
force,  which  has  gone  into  the  differentiated  powers,  is  once 
more  gathered  together  into  the  inner  power  of  intuition  and 
spiritual  will,  taking  on  that  unity  which  is  the  hall-mark  of 
spiritual  things,  as  diversity  is  the  seal  of  material  things. 

It  is  all  a  matter  of  love  for  the  quality  of  spiritual  con- 
sciousness, as  against  psychical  consciousness,  of  love  and  at- 
tention. For  where  the  heart  is,  there  will  the  treasure  be  also ; 
where  the  consciousness  is,  there  will  the  vesture  with  its 
powers  be  developed. 

55.     Thereupon   follows   perfect   mastery   over   the   powers. 

When  the  spiritual  condition  which  we  have  described  is 
reached,  with  its  purity,  poise,  and  illuminated  vision,  the 
spiritual  man  is  coming  into  his  inheritance,  and  gaining  com- 
plete mastery  of  his  powers. 

Indeed,  much  of  the  struggle  to  keep  the  Commandments 
and  the  Rules  has  been  paving  the  way  for  this  mastery; 
through  this  very  struggle  and  sacrifice  the  mastery  has  become 
possible ;  just  as,  to  use  Saint  Paul's  simile,  the  athlete  gains 
the  mastery  in  the  contest  and  the  race,  through  the  sacrifice 
of  his  long  and  arduous  training.     Thus  he  gains  the  crown. 


Introduction  to  Book  III, 

The  third  book  of  the  Sutras  is  the  book  of  Spiritual 
Powers.  In  considering  these  spiritual  powers,  two  things 
must  be  understood  and  kept  in  memory.  The  first  of  these  is 
this :  These  spiritual  powers  can  only  be  gained  when  the 
development  described  in  the  first  and  second  books  has  been 
measurably  attained ;  when  the  commandments  have  been  kept, 
the  rules  faithfully  followed,  and  the  experiences  which  are 
described  have  been  passed  through.  For  only  after  this,  is  the 
spiritual  man  so  far  grown,  so  far  disentangled  from  the 
psychical  bandages  and  veils  which  have  confined  and  blinded 
him,  that  he  can  use  his  proper  powers  and  faculties.  For  this 
is  the  secret  of  all  spiritual  powers :  they  are  in  no  sense  abnor- 
mal or  supernatural  overgrowth  upon  the  material  man,  but  are 
rather  the  powers  and  faculties  inherent  in  the  spiritual  man, 
entirely  natural  to  him,  and  coming  naturally  into  activity,  as 
the  spiritual  man  is  disentangled  and  liberated  from  psychical 
bondage,  through  keeping  the  commandments  and  rules  already 
set  forth. 

As  the  personal  man  is  the  limitation  and  inversion  of  the 
spiritual  man,  all  his  faculties  and  powers  are  inversions  of  the 
powers  of  the  spiritual  man.  In  a  single  phrase,  his  self-seeking 
is  the  inversion  of  the  Self-seeking  which  is  the  very  being  of 
the  spiritual  man:  the  ceaseless  search  after  the  divine  and 
august  Self  of  all  beings.  This  inversion  is  corrected  by  keep- 
ing the  commandments  and  rules,  and  gradually,  as  the  in- 
version is  overcome,  the  spiritual  man  is  extricated,  and  comes 
into  possession  and  free  exercise  of  his  powers. 



The  spiritual  powers,  therefore,  are  the  powers  of  the 
grown  and  liberated  spiritual  man.  They  can  only  be  developed 
and  used  as  the  spiritual  man  grows  and  attains  liberation 
through  obedience.  This  is  the  first  thing  to  be  kept  in  mind, 
in  all  that  is  said  of  spiritual  powers  in  the  third  and  fourth 
books  of  the  Sutras.  The  second  thing  to  be  understood  and 
kept  in  mind  is  this : 

Just  as  our  modern  sages  have  discerned  and  taught  that 
all  matter  is  ultimately  one  and  eternal,  definitely  related 
throughout  the  whole  wide  universe;  just  as  they  have  dis- 
cerned and  taught  that  all  force  is  one  and  eternal,  so  co- 
ordinated throughout  the  whole  universe  that  whatever  affects 
any  atom  measurably  affects  the  whole  boundless  realm  of  mat- 
ter and  force  to  the  most  distant  star  or  nebula  on  the  dim  con- 
fines of  space ;  so  the  ancient  sages  had  discerned  and  taught 
that  all  consciousness  is  one,  immortal,  indivisible,  infinite ;  so 
finely  correlated  and  continuous  that  whatever  is  perceived  by 
any  consciousness  is,  whether  actually  or  potentially,  within  the 
reach  of  all  consciousness,  and  therefore  within  the  reach  of 
any  consciousness.  This  has  been  well  expressed  by  saying 
that  all  souls  are.  fundamentally  one  with  the  Oversoul ;  that 
the  Son  of  God,  and  all  Sons  of  God,  are  fundamentally  one 
with  the  Father.  When  the  consciousness  is  cleared  of  psychic 
bonds  and  veils,  when  the  spiritual  man  is  able  to  stand,  to  see, 
then  this  superb  law  comes  into  effect:  whatever  is  within  the 
knowledge  of  any  consciousness,  and  this  includes  the  whole 
infinite  universe,  is  within  his  reach,  and  may,  if  he  wills,  be 
made  a  part  of  his  consciousness.  This  he  may  attain  through 
his  fundamental  unity  with  the  Oversoul,  by  raising  himself 
toward  the  consciousness  above  him,  and  drawing  on  its  re- 
sources. The  Son,  if  he  would  work  miracles,  whether  of  per- 
ception or  of  action,  must  come  often  into  the  presence  of  the 
Father.  This  is  the  birthright  of  the  spiritual  man;  through 
it,  he  comes  into  possession  of  his  splendid  and  immortal 

Let  it  be  clearly  kept  in  mind  that  what  is  here  to  be 
related  of  the  spiritual  man,  and  his  exalted  powers,  must  in 



no  wise  be  detached  from  what  has  gone  before.  The  being, 
the  very  inception,  of  the  spiritual  man  depends  on  the  purifi- 
cation and  moral  attainment  already  detailed,  and  can  in  no 
wise  dispense  with  these  or  curtail  them. 

Let  no  one  imagine  that  the  true  life,  the  true  powers  of 
the  spiritual  man,  can  be  attained  by  any  way  except  the  hard 
way  of  sacrifice,  of  trial,  of  renunciation,  of  selfless  self-con- 
quest and  genuine  devotion  to  the  weal  of  all  others.  Only 
thus  can  the  golden  gates  be  reached  and  entered.  Only  thus 
can  we  attain  to  that  pure  world,  wherein  the  spiritual  man 
lives,  and  moves,  and  has  his  being.  Nothing  impure,  nothing 
unholy  can  ever  cross  that  threshold,  least  of  all  impure  motives 
or  self-seeking  desires.  These  must  be  burnt  away,  before  an 
entrance  to  that  world  can  be  gained. 

But  where  there  is  light,  there  is  shadow;  and  the  lofty 
light  of  the  soul  casts  upon  the  clouds  of  the  mid-world  the 
shadow  of  the  spiritual  man  and  of  his  powers;  the  bastard 
vesture  and  the  bastard  powers  of  psychism  are  easily  attained ; 
yet,  even  when  attained,  they  are  a  delusion,  the  very  essence 
of  unreality. 

Therefore   ponder   well   the   earlier   rules,   and   lay   a  firm 
foundation  of  courage,  sacrifice,  selflessness,  holiness. 



i.  The  binding  of  the  perceiving  consciousness  to  a  certain 
region  is  Attention  (dharana). 

Emerson  quotes  Sir  Isaac  Newton  as  saying  that  he  made 
his  great  discoveries  by  intending  his  mind  on  them.  That  is 
what  is  meant  here.  I  read  the  page  of  a  book  while  thinking 
of  something  else.  At  the  end  of  the  page,  I  have  no  idea  of 
what  it  is  about,  and  read  it  again,  still  thinking  of  something 
else,  with  the  same  result.  Then  I  wake  up,  so  to  speak,  make 
an  effort  of  attention,  fix  my  thought  on  what  I  am  reading, 
and  easily  take  in  its  meaning.  The  act  of  will,  the  effort  of 
attention,  the  intending  of  the  mind  on  each  word  and  line  of 
the  page,  just  as  the  eyes  are  focussed  on  each  word  and  line, 
is  the  power  here  contemplated.  It  is  the  power  to  focus  the 
consciousness  on  a  given  spot,  and  hold  it  there.  Attention  is 
the  first  and  indispensable  step  in  all  knowledge.  Attention  to 
spiritual  things  is  the  first  step  to  spiritual  knowledge. 



2.  A  prolonged  holding  of  the  perceiving  consciousness  in 
that  region  is  Contemplation  (dhyana). 

This  will  apply  equally  to  outer  and  inner  things.  I  may 
for  a  moment  fix  my  attention  on  some  visible  object,  in  a 
single  penetrating  glance,  or  I  may  hold  the  attention  fixedly 
on  it  until  it  reveals  far  more  of  its  nature  than  a  single  glance 
could  perceive.  The  first  is  the  focussing  of  the  searchlight 
of  consciousness  upon  the  object.  The  other  is  the  holding  of 
the  white  beam  of  light  steadily  and  persistently  on  the  object, 
until  it  yields  up  the  secret  of  its  details.  So  for  things  within ; 
one  may  fix  the  inner  glance  for  a  moment  on  spiritual  things, 
or  one  may  hold  the  consciousness  steadily  upon  them,  until 
what  was  in  the  dark  slowly  comes  forth  into  the  light,  and 
yields  up  its  immortal  secret.  But  this  is  possible  only  for  the 
spiritual  man,  after  the  commandments  and  the  rules  have  been 
kept ;  for  until  this  is  done,  the  thronging  storms  of  psychical 
thoughts  dissipate  and  distract  the  attention,  so  that  it  will  not 
remain  fixed  on  spiritual  things.  The  cares  of  this  world,  the 
deceitfulness  of  riches,  choke  the  word  of  the  spiritual  message. 

3.  When  the  perceiving  consciousness,  in  this  contempla- 
tion, is  wholly  given  to  illuminating  the  essential  meaning  of  the 
object  contemplated,  and  is  freed  from  the  sense  of  separateness 
and  personality,  this  is  Meditation  (samadhi). 

Let  us  review  the  steps  so  far  taken.  First,  the  beam  of 
perceiving  consciousness  is  focussed  on  a  certain  region  or  sub- 
ject, through  the  effort  of  attention.  Then  this  attending  con- 
sciousness is  held  on  its  object.  Thirdly,  there  is  the  ardent  will 
to  know  its  meaning,  to  illumine  it  with  comprehending 
thought.  Fourthly,  all  personal  bias,  all  desire  merely  to  in- 
dorse a  previous  opinion  and  so  prove  oneself  right,  and  all 
desire  for  personal  profit  or  gratification  must  be  quite  put 
away.  There  must  be  a  purely  disinterested  love  of  truth  for 
its  own  sake.  Thus  is  the  perceiving  consciousness  made  void, 
as  it  were,  of  all  personality  or  sense  of  separateness.  The 
personal  limitation  stands  aside,  and  lets  the  All-consciousness 
come  to  bear  upon  the  problem.  The  Oversoul  bends  its  ray 
upon  the  object,  and  illumines  it  with  pure  light. 



4.  When  these  three,  Attention,  Contemplation,  Medita- 
tion, are  exercised  at  once,  this  is  perfectly  concentrated  Medi= 
tation  (sanyama). 

When  the  personal  limitation  of  the  perceiving  conscious- 
ness stands  aside,  and  allows  the  All-conscious  to  come  to  bear 
upon  the  problem,  then  arises  that  real  knowledge  which  is 
called  a  flash  of  genius ;  that  real  knowledge  which  makes  dis- 
coveries, and  without  which  no  discovery  can  be  made,  how- 
ever painstaking  the  effort.  For  genius  is  the  vision  of  the 
spiritual  man,  and  that  vision  is  a  question  of  growth  rather 
than  present  effort ;  though  right  effort,  rightly  continued, 
will  in  time  infallibly  lead  to  growth  and  vision.  Through  the 
power  thus  to  set  aside  personal  limitation,  to  push  aside  petty 
concerns  and  cares,  and  steady  the  whole  nature  and  will  in 
an  ardent  love  of  truth  and  desire  to  know  it;  through  the 
power  thus  to  make  way  for  the  All-consciousness,  all  great 
men  make  their  discoveries.  Newton,  watching  the  apple  fall 
to  the  earth,  was  able  to  look  beyond,  to  see  the  subtle  waves 
of  force  pulsating  through  apples  and  worlds  and  suns  and 
galaxies,  and  thus  to  perceive  universal  gravitation.  The  Over- 
soul,  looking  through  his  eyes,  recognized  the  universal  force, 
one  of  its  own  children.  Darwin,  watching  the  forms  and 
motions  of  plants  and  animals,  let  the  same  august  conscious- 
ness come  to  bear  on  them,  and  saw  infinite  growth  perfected 
through  ceaseless  struggle.  He  perceived  the  superb  process 
of  evolution,  the  Oversold  once  more  recognizing  its  own. 
Fraunhofer,  noting  the  dark  lines  in  the  band  of  sunlight  in 
his  spectroscope,  divined  their  identity  with  the  bright  lines  in 
the  spectra  of  incandescent  iron,  sodium  and  the  rest,  and  so 
saw  the  oneness  of  substance  in  the  worlds  and  suns,  the  unity 
of  the  materials  of  the  universe.  Once  again,  the  Oversoul, 
looking  with  his  eyes,  recognized  its  own.  So  it  is  with  all 
true  knowledge.  But  the  mind  must  transcend  its  limitations, 
its  idiosyncracies ;  there  must  be  purity,  for  to  the  pure  in  heart 
is  the  promise,  that  they  shall  see  God. 



5.  By  mastering  this  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation, 
there  comes  the  illumination  of  the  perceiving  consciousness. 

The  meaning  of  this  is  illustrated  by  what  has  been  said 
before.  When  the  spiritual  man  is  able  to  throw  aside  the  tram- 
mels of  emotional  and  mental  limitation,  and  to  open  his  eyes, 
he  sees  clearly,  he  attains  to  illuminated  perception.  A  poet 
once  said  that  Occultism  is  the  conscious  cultivation  of  genius ; 
and  it  is  certain  that  the  awakened  spiritual  man  attains  to  the 
perceptions  of  genius.  Genius  is  the  vision,  the  power,  of  the 
spiritual  man,  whether  its  possessor  recognizes  this  or  not. 
All  true  knowledge  is  of  the  spiritual  man.  The  greatest  in  all 
ages  have  recognized  this  and  put  their  testimony  on  record. 
The  great  in  wisdom  who  have  not  consciously  recognized  it, 
have  even  been  full  of  the  spirit  of  reverence,  of  selfless  devo- 
tion to  truth,  of  humility,  as  was  Darwin ;  and  reverence  and 
humility  are  the  unconscious  recognition  of  the  nearness  of  the 
vSpirit,  that  Divinity  which  broods  over  us,  a  Master  o'er  a 



6.     This  power  is  distributed  in  ascending  degrees. 

It  is  to  be  attained  step  by  step.  It  is  a  question,  not  of 
miracle,  but  of  evolution,  of  growth.  Newton  had  to  master 
the  multiplication  table,  then  the  four  rules  of  arithmetic,  then 
the  rudiments  of  algebra,  before  he  came  to  the  binomial 
theorem.  At  each  point,  there  was  attention,  concentration, 
insight ;  until  these  were  attained,  no  progress  to  the  next  point 
was  possible.  So  with  Darwin.  He  had  to  learn  the  form  and 
use  of  leaf  and  flower,  of  bone  and  muscle;  the  characteristics 
of  genera  and  species ;  the  distribution  of  plants  and  animals, 
before  he  had  in  mind  that  nexus  of  knowledge  on  which  the 
light  of  his  great  idea  was  at  last  able  to  shine.  So  is  it  with 
all  knowledge.  So  is  it  with  spiritual  knowledge.  Take  the 
matter  this  way:  The  first  subject  for  the  exercise  of  my 
spiritual  insight  is  my  day,  with  its  circumstances,  its  hin- 
drances, its  opportunities,  its  duties.  I  do  what  I  can  to  solve 
it,  to  fulfill  its  duties,  to  learn  its  lessons.  I  try  to  live  my  day 
with  aspiration  and  faith.  That  is  the  first  step.  By  doing 
this,  I  gather  a  harvest  for  the  evening,  I  gain  a  deeper  insight 
into  life,  in  virtue  of  which  I  begin  the  next  day  with  a  certain 
advantage,  a  certain  spiritual  advance  and  attainment.  So 
with  all  successive  days.  In  faith  and  aspiration,  we  pass  from 
day  to  day,  in  growing  knowledge  and  power,  with  never  more 
than  one  day  to  solve  at  a  time,  until  all  life  becomes  radiant 
and  transparent. 



7.  This  threefold  power,  of  Attention,  Contemplation, 
Meditation,  is  more  interior  than  the  means  of  growth  previously 

Very  naturally  so ;  because  the  means  of  growth  prev- 
iously described  were  concerned  with  the  extrication  of  the 
spiritual  man  from  psychic  bondages  and  veils;  while  this 
threefold  power  is  to  be  exercised  by  the  spiritual  man  thus 
extricated  and  standing  on  his  feet,  viewing  life  with  open  eyes. 

8.  But  this  triad  is  still  exterior  to  the  soul  vision  which 
is  unconditioned,  free  from  the  seed  of  mental  analysis. 

The  reason  is  this :  The  threefold  power  we  have  been 
considering,  the  triad  of  Attention,  Contemplation,  Meditation 
is,  so  far  as  we  have  yet  considered  it,  the  focussing  of  the 
beam  of  perceiving  consciousness  upon  some  form  of  manifest- 
ing being,  with  a  view  of  understanding  it  completely.  There 
is  a  higher  stage,  where  the  beam  of  consciousness  is  turned 
back  upon  itself,  and  the  individual  consciousness  enters  into, 
and  knows,  the  All-consciousness.  This  is  a  being,  a  being  in 
immortality,  rather  than  a  knowing;  it  is  free  from  mental 
analysis  or  mental  forms.  It  is  not  an  activity  of  the  higher 
mind,  even  the  mind  of  the  spiritual  man.  It  is  an  activity  of 
the  soul.  Had  Newton  risen  to  this  higher  stage,  he  would 
have  known,  not  the  laws  of  motion,  but  that  high  Being,  from 
whose  Life  comes  eternal  motion.  Had  Darwin  risen  to  this, 
he  would  have  seen  the  Soul,  whose  graduated  thought  and 
being  all  evolution  expresses.  There  are,  therefore,  these  two 
perceptions :  that  of  living  things,  and  that  of  the  Life ;  that  of 
the  Soul's  works,  and  that  of  the  Soul  itself. 



9.  One  of  the  ascending  degrees  is  the  development  of 
Control.  First  there  is  the  overcoming  of  the  mind-impress  of 
excitation.  Then  comes  the  manifestation  of  the  mind*impress 
of  Control.  Then  the  perceiving  consciousness  follows  after  the 
moment  of  Control.     This  is  the  development  of  Control. 

This  is  a  difficult  sentence.  Its  meaning  seems  to  be  this : 
Some  object  enters  the  field  of  observation,  and  at  first 
violently  excites  the  mind,  stirring  up  curiosity,  fear,  wonder ; 
then  the  consciousness  returns  upon  itself,  as  it  were,  and  takes 
the  perception  firmly  in  hand,  steadying  itself,  and  viewing  the 
matter  calmly  from  above.  This  steadying  effort  of  the  will 
upon  the  perceiving  consciousness  is  Control,  and  immediately 
upon  it  follows  perception,  understanding,  insight. 

Take  a  trite  example.  Supposing  one  is  walking  in  an 
Indian  forest.  A  charging  elephant  suddenly  appears.  The 
man  is  excited  by  astonishment,  and,  perhaps,  terror.  But  he 
exercises  an  effort  of  will,  perceives  the  situation  in  its  true 
bearings,  and  recognizes  that  a  certain  thing  must  be  done; 
in  this  case,  probably,  that  he  must  get  out  of  the  way  as 
quickly  as  possible. 

Or  a  comet,  unheralded,  appears  in  the  sky  like  a  flaming 
sword.  The  beholder  is  at  first  astonished,  perhaps  terror- 
stricken  ;  but  he  takes  himself  in  hand,  controls  his  thoughts, 
views  the  apparition  calmly,  and  finally  calculates  its  orbit  and 
its  relation  to  meteor  showers. 

These  are  extreme  illustrations ;  but  with  all  knowledge, 
the  order  of  perception  is  the  same :  first,  the  excitation  of  the 
mind  by  the  new  object  impressed  on  it;  then  the  control  of  the 
mind  from  within ;  upon  which  follows  the  perception  of  the 
nature  of  the  object.  Where  the  eyes  of  the  spiritual  man  are 
open,  this  will  be  a  true  and  penetrating  spiritual  perception. 
In  some  such  way  do  our  living  experiences  come  to  us ;  first, 
with  a  shock  of  pain ;  then  the  Soul  steadies  itself  and  controls 
the  pain ;  then  the  spirit  perceives  the  lesson  of  the  event,  and 
its  bearing  upon  the  progressive  revelation  of  life. 



10.  Through  frequent  repetition  of  this  process,  the  mind 
becomes  habituated  to  it,  and  there  arises  an  equable  flow  of 
perceiving  consciousness. 

Control  of  the  mind  by  the  Soul,  like  control  of  the  muscles 
by  the  mind,  comes  by  practice,  and  constant  voluntary  repeti- 

As  an  example  of  control  of  the  muscles  by  the  mind,  take 
the  ceaseless  practice  by  which  a  musician  gains  mastery  over 
his  instrument,  or  a  fencer  gains  skill  with  a  rapier.  Innumer- 
able small  efforts  of  attention  will  make  a  result  which  seems 
well-nigh  miraculous ;  which,  for  the  novice,  is  really  mirac- 
ulous. Then  consider  that  far  more  wonderful  instrument,  the 
perceiving  mind,  played  on  by  that  fine  musician,  the  Soul. 
Here  again,  innumerable  small  efforts  of  attention  will  accu- 
mulate into  mastery,  and  a  mastery  worth  winning.  For  a 
concrete  example,  take  the  gradual  conquest  of  each  day,  the 
effort  to  live  that  day  for  the  Soul.  To  him  that  is  faithful 
unto  death,  the  Master  gives  the  crown  of  life. 

ii.  The  gradual  conquest  of  the  mind's  tendency  to  flit 
from  one  object  to  another,  and  the  power  of  one=pointedness, 
make  the  development  of  Meditation. 

As  an  illustration  of  the  mind's  tendency  to  flit  from  one 
object  to  another,  take  a  small  boy,  learning  arithmetic.  He 
begins :  two  ones  are  two ;  three  ones  are  three — and  then  he 
thinks  of  three  coins  in  his  pocket,  which  will  purchase  so  much 
candy,  in  the  store  down  the  street,  next  to  the  toy-shop,  where 
are  base-balls,  marbles  and  so  on, — and  then  he  comes  back 
with  a  jerk;  to  four  ones  are  four.  So  with  us  also.  We  are 
seeking  the  meaning  of  our  task,  but  the  mind  takes  advantage 
of  a  moment  of  slackened  attention,  and  flits  off  from  one  friv- 
olous detail  to  another,  till  we  suddenly  come  back  to  consci- 
ousness after  traversing  leagues  of  space.  We  must  learn  to 
conquer  this,  and  to  go  back  within  ourselves  into  the  beam  of 
perceiving  consciousness  itself,  which  is  a  beam  of  the  Over- 
soul.  This  is  the  true  one-pointedness,  the  bringing  of  our 
consciousness  to  a  focus  in  the  Soul. 



12.  When,  following  this,  the  controlled  manifold  tendency 
and  the  aroused  one=pointedness  are  equally  balanced  parts  of 
the  perceiving  consciousness,  this  is  the  development  of  one- 

This  would  seem  to  mean  that  the  insight  which  is  called 
one-pointedness  has  two  sides,  equally  balanced.  There  is  first, 
the  manifold  aspect  of  any  object,  the  sum  of  all  its  charac- 
teristics and  properties.  This  is  to  be  held  firmly  in  the  mind. 
Then  there  is  the  perception  of  the  object  as  a  unity,  as  a 
whole,  the  perception  of  its  essence.  First,  the  details  must  be 
clearly  perceived;  then  the  essence  must  be  comprehended. 
When  the  two  processes  are  equally  balanced,  the  true  one- 
pointedness  is  attained.  Everything  has  these  two  sides,  the 
side  of  difference  and  the  side  of  unity ;  there  is  the  individual 
and  there  is  the  genus ;  the  pole  of  matter  and  diversity,  and 
the  pole  of  oneness  and  spirit.  To  see  the  object  truly,  we 
must  see  both. 

13.  Through  this,  the  inherent  character,  distinctive  marks 
and  conditions  of  being  and  powers,  according  to  their  develop= 
ment,  are  made  clear. 

By  the  power  defined  in  the  preceding  sutra,  the  inherent 
character,  distinctive  marks  and  conditions  of  beings  and 
powers  are  made  clear.  For  through  this  power,  as  defined, 
we  get  a  twofold  view  of  each  object,  seeing  at  once  all  its  in- 
dividual characteristics  and  its  essential  character,  species  and 
genus ;  we  see  it  in  relation  to  itself,  and  in  relation  to  the 
Eternal.  Thus  we  see  a  rose  as  that  particular  flower,  with  its 
color  and  scent,  its  peculiar  fold  of  each  petal ;  but  we  also  see 
in  it  the  species,  the  family  to  which  it  belongs,  with  its  relation 
to  all  plants,  to  all  life,  to  Life  itself.  So  in  any  day,  we  see 
events  and  circumstances ;  we  also  see  in  it  the  lesson  set  for 
the  soul  bv  the  Eternal. 



14.  Every  object  has  its  characteristics  which  are  already 
quiescent,  those  which  are  active,  and  those  which  are  not  yet 

Every  object  has  characteristics  belonging  to  its  past,  its 
present  and  its  future.  In  a  fir  tree,  for  example,  there  are  the 
stumps  or  scars  of  dead  branches,  which  once  represented  its 
foremost  growth;  there  are  the  branches  with  their  needles 
spread  out  to  the  air;  there  are  the  buds  at  the  end  of  each 
branch  and  twig,  which  carry  the  still  closely  packed  needles 
which  are  the  promise  of  the  future.  In  like  manner,  the 
chrysalis  has,  as  its  past,  the  caterpillar ;  as  its  future,  the  but- 
terfly. The  man  has,  in  his  past,  the  animal ;  in  his  future,  the 
angel.  Both  are  visible  even  now  in  his  face.  So  with  all 
things,  for  all  things  change  and  grow. 

15.  Difference  in  stage  is  the  cause  of  difference  in  de- 

This  but  amplifies  what  has  just  been  said.  The  first  stage 
is  the  sapling,  the  caterpillar,  the  animal.  The  second  stage  is 
the  growing  tree,  the  chrysalis,  the  man.  The  third  is  the 
splendid  pine,  the  butterfly,  the  angel.  Difference  of  stage  is 
the  cause  of  difference  of  development.  So  it  is  among  men, 
and  among  the  races  of  men. 



1 6.  Through  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the 
three  stages  of  development  comes  a  knowledge  of  past  and 

We  have  taken  our  illustrations  from  natural  science, 
because,  since  every  true  discovery  in  natural  science  is  a 
divination  of  a  law  in  nature,  attained  through  a  flash  of 
genius,  such  discoveries  really  represent  acts  of  spiritual  per- 
ception, acts  of  perception  by  the  spiritual  man,  even  though 
they  are  generally  unconscious. 

So  we  may  once  more  use  the  same  illustration.  Perfectly 
concentrated  Meditation,  perfect  insight  into  the  chrysalis, 
reveals  the  caterpillar  that  it  has  been,  the  butterfly  that  it  is 
destined  to  be.  He  who  knows  the  seed,  knows  the  seed-pod 
or  ear  it  has  come  from,  and  the  plant  that  is  to  come  from  it. 

So  in  like  manner,  he  who  really  knows  to-day,  and  the 
heart  of  to-day,  knows  its  parent  yesterday,  and  its  child  to- 
morrow. Past,  present  and  future  are  all  in  the  Eternal.  He 
who  dwells  in  the  Eternal  knows  all  three. 



17.  Sound  and  meaning  and  the  thought  called  up  by  a 
word  are  confounded  because  they  are  all  blurred  together  in  the 
mind.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  each  separately, 
there  comes  an  understanding  of  the  sounds  uttered  by  all  beings. 

It  must  be  remembered  that  we  are  speaking  of  perception 
by  the  spiritual  man. 

Sound,  like  every  force,  is  the  expression  of  a  power  of  the 
Eternal.  Infinite  shades  of  this  power  are  expressed  in  the 
infinitely  varied  tones  of  sound.  He  who,  having  entry  to  the 
consciousness  of  the  Eternal  knows  the  essence  of  this  power, 
can  divine  the  meanings  of  all  sounds  from  the  voice  of  the 
insect  to  the  music  of  the  spheres. 

In  like  manner,  he  who  has  attained  to  spiritual  vision  can 
perceive  the  mind-images  in  the  thoughts  of  others,  with  the 
shade  of  feeling  which  goes  with  them,  thus  reading  their 
thoughts  as  easily  as  he  hears  their  words.  Everyone  has  the 
germ  of  this  power,  since  difference  of  tone  will  give  widely 
differing  meanings  to  the  same  words,  meanings  which  are 
intuitively  perceived  by  everyone. 

18.  When  the  mind=impressions  become  visible,  there 
comes  an  understanding  of  previous  births. 

This  is  simple  enough,  if  we  grasp  the  truth  of  rebirth. 
The  fine  harvest  of  past  experiences  is  drawn  into  the  spiritual 
nature,  forming,  indeed,  the  basis  of  its  development.  When 
the  consciousness  has  been  raised  to  a  point  above  these  fine 
subjective  impressions,  and  can  look  down  upon  them  from 
above,  this  will  in  itself  be  a  remembering  of  past  births. 



19.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  mi  nd=i mages 
is  gained  the  understanding  of  the  thoughts  of  others. 

Here.,  for  those  who  can  profit  by  it,  is  the  secret  of 
thought-reading.  Take  the  simplest  case,  of  intentional  thought 
transference.  It  is  the  testimony  of  those  who  have  done  this, 
that  the  perceiving  mind  must  be  stilled,  before  the  mind- 
image  projected  by  the  other  mind  can  be  seen.  With  it  comes 
a  sense  of  the  feeling  and  temper  of  the  other  mind  and  so  on, 
in  higher  degrees. 

20.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  form  of 
the  body,  by  arresting  the  body's  perceptibility,  and  by  inhibiting 
the  eye's  power  of  sight,  there  comes  the  power  to  make  the 
body  invisible. 

There  are  many  instances  of  the  exercise  of  this  power,  by 
mesmerists,  hypnotists  and  the  like ;  and  we  may  simply  call  it 
an  instance  of  the  power  of  suggestion.  Shankara  tells  us  that 
by  this  power  the  popular  magicians  of  the  East  perform  their 
wonders,  working  on  the  mind-images  of  others,  while  them- 
selves remaining  invisible.  It  is  all  a  question  of  being  able  to 
see  and  control  the  mind-images. 

si.  The  works  which  fill  out  the  life=span  may  be  either 
immediately  or  gradually  operative.  By  perfectly  concentrated 
Meditation  on  these  comes  a  knowledge  of  the  time  of  the  end, 
as  also  through  signs. 

A  garment  which  got  wet,  says  the  commentator,  may  be 
hung  up  to  dry,  and  so  dry  rapidly,  or  it  may  be  rolled  in  a  ball 
and  dry  slowly;  so  a  fire  may  blaze  or  smoulder.  Thus  it  is 
with  Karma,  the  works  that  fill  out  the  life-span.  By  an  in- 
sight into  the  mental  forms  and  forces  which  make  up  Karma, 
there  comes  a  knowledge  of  the  rapidity  or  slowness  of  their 
development,  and  of  the  time  when  the  debt  will  be  paid  off. 



22.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  sympathy, 
compassion  and  kindness,  is  gained  the  power  of  interior  union 
with  others. 

Unity  is  the  reality ;  separateness  the  illusion.  The  nearer 
we  come  to  reality,  the  nearer  we  come  to  unity  of  heart. 
Sympathy,  compassion,  kindness  are  modes  of  this  unity  of 
heart,  whereby  we  rejoice  with  those  who  rejoice,  and  weep 
with  those  who  weep.  These  things  are  learned  by  desiring  to 
learn  them. 

23.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  power,  even 
such  power  as  that  of  the  elephant  may  be  gained. 

This  is  a  pretty  image.  Elephants  possess  not  only  force, 
but  poise  and  fineness  of  control.  They  can  lift  a  straw,  a 
child,  a  tree  with  perfectly  judged  control  and  effort.  So  the 
simile  is  a  good  one.  By  detachment,  by  withdrawing  into  the 
soul's  reservoir  of  power,  we  can  gain  all  these,  force  and  fine- 
ness and  poise ;  the  ability  to  handle  with  equal  mastery  things 
small  and  great,  concrete  and  abstract  alike. 

24.  By  bending  upon  them  the  awakened  inner  light,  there 
comes  a  knowledge  of  things  subtle,  or  obscure,  or  remote. 

As  was  said  at  the  outset,  each  consciousness  is  related 
to  all  consciousness ;  and,  through  it,  has  a  potential  conscious- 
ness of  all  things;  whether  subtle  or  obscure,  or  remote.  An 
understanding  of  this  great  truth  will  come  with  practice.  As 
one  of  the  wise  has  said,  we  have  no  conception  of  the  power 
of  Meditation. 



25.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  sun  conies 
a  knowledge  of  the  worlds. 

This  has  several  meanings:  First,  by  a  knowledge  of  the 
constitution  of  the  sun,  astronomers  can  understand  the  kin- 
dred nature  of  the  stars.  And  it  is  said  that  there  is  a  finer 
astronomy,  where  the  spiritual  man  is  the  astronomer.  But 
the  sun  also  means  the  Soul,  and  through  knowledge  of  the 
Soul  comes  a  knowledge  of  the  realms  of  life. 

26.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  moon 
comes  a  knowledge  of  the  lunar  mansions. 

Here  again  are  different  meanings.  The  moon  is,  first, 
the  companion  planet,  which,  each  day,  passes  backward 
through  one  mansion  of  the  stars.  By  watching  the  moon,  the 
boundaries  of  the  mansion  are  learned,  with  their  succession  in 
the  great  time-dial  of  the  sky.  But  the  moon  also  symbolises 
the  analytic  mind,  with  its  divided  realms ;  and  these,  too,  may 
be  understood  through  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation. 

27.     By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  fixed  pole- 
star  comes  a  knowledge  of  the  motions  of  the  stars. 

Addressing  Duty,   stern  daughter  of  the  Voice  of  God, 
Wordsworth  finely  said: 

Thou  dost  preserve  the  stars  from  wrong, 
And  the  most  ancient  heavens  through  thee  are  fresh  and 
strong — 

thus  suggesting  a  profound  relation  between  the  moral  powers 
and  the  powers  that  rule  the  worlds.  So  in  this  sutra,  the  fixed 
pole-star  is  the  eternal  spirit  about  which  all  things  move,  as 
well  as  the  star  toward  which  points  the  axis  of  the  earth. 
Deep  mysteries  attend  both,  and  the  veil  of  mystery  is  only  to 
be  raised  by  Meditation,  by  open-eyed  vision  of  the  awakened 
spiritual  man. 



28.  Perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  center  of 
force  in  the  lower  trunk  brings  an  understanding  of  the  order  of 
the  bodily  powers. 

We  are  coming  to  a  vitally  important  part  of  the  teaching 
of  Yoga :  namely,  the  spiritual  man's  attainment  of  full  self- 
consciousness,  the  awakening  of  the  spiritual  man  as  a  self- 
conscious  individual,  behind  and  above  the  natural  man.  In 
this  awakening,  and  in  the  process  of  gestation  which  precedes 
it,  there  is  a  close  relation  with  the  powers  of  the  natural  man, 
which  are,  in  a  certain  sense,  the  projection  outward  and 
downward,  of  the  powers  of  the  spiritual  man.  This  is  notably 
true  of  that  creative  power  of  the  spiritual  man  which,  when 
embodied  in  the  natural  man,  becomes  the  power  of  generation. 
Not  only  is  this  power  the  cause  of  the  continuance  of  the 
bodily  race  of  mankind,  but  further,  in  the  individual,  it  is  the 
key  to  the  dominance  of  the  personal  life.  Rising,  as  it  were, 
through  the  life-channels  of  the  body,  it  flushes  the  personality 
with  physical  force,  and  maintains  and  colors  the  illusion  that 
the  physical  life  is  the  dominant  and  all-important  expression 
of  life.  In  due  time,  when  the  spiritual  man  has  begun  to  take 
form,  the  creative  force  will  be  drawn  off,  and  become  opera- 
tive in  building  the  body  of  the  spiritual  man,  just  as  it  has 
been  operative  in  the  building  of  physical  bodies,  through 
generation  in  the  natural  world. 

Perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  nature  of  this 
force  means,  first,  that  rising  of  the  consciousness  into  the 
spiritual  world,  already  described,  which  gives  the  one  sure 
foothold  for  Meditation ;  and  then,  from  that  spiritual  point  of 
vantage,  not  only  an  insight  into  the  creative  force,  in  its  spirit- 
ual and  physical  aspects,  but  also  a  gradually  attained  control 
of  this  wonderful  force,  which  will  mean  its  direction  to  the 
body  of  the  spiritual  man,  and  its  gradual  withdrawal  from  the 
body  of  the  natural  man,  until  the  overpressure,  so  general  and 
such  a  fruitful  source  of  misery  in  our  day,  is  abated,  and 
purity  takes  the  place  of  passion.  This  overpressure,  which  is 
the  cause  of  so  many  evils  and  so  much  of  human  shame,  is 
an  abnormal,  not  a  natural,  condition.  It  is  primarily  due  to 
spiritual  blindness,  to  blindness  regarding  the  spiritual  man, 



and  ignorance  even  of  his  existence ;  for  by  this  blind  ignorance 
are  closed  the  channels  through  which,  were  they  open,  the 
creative  force  could  flow  into  the  body  of  the  spiritual  man, 
there  building  up  an  immortal  vesture.  There  is  no  cure  for 
blindness,  with  its  consequent  over-pressure  and  attendant  mis- 
ery and  shame,  but  spiritual  vision,  spiritual  aspiration,  sacri- 
fice, the  new  birth  from  above.  There  is  no  other  way  to 
lighten  the  burden,  to  lift  the  misery  and  shame  from  human 
life.  Therefore  let  us  follow  after  sacrifice  and  aspiration,  let 
us  seek  the  light.  In  this  way  only  shall  we  gain  that  insight 
into  the  order  of  the  bodily  powers,  and  that  mastery  of  them, 
which  this  sutra  implies. 



29.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  center  of 
force  in  the  well  of  the  throat,  there  conies  the  cessation  of 
hunger  and  thirst. 

We  are  continuing  the  study  of  the  bodily  powers  and 
centers  of  force  in  their  relation  to  the  powers  and  forces  of 
the  spiritual  man.  We  have  already  considered  the  dominant 
power  of  physical  life,  the  creative  power  which  secures  the 
continuance  of  physical  life ;  and,  further,  the  manner  in  which, 
through  aspiration  and  sacrifice,  it  is  gradually  raised  and  set 
to  the  work  of  upbuilding  the  body  of  the  spiritual  man.  We 
come  now  to  the  dominant  psychic  force,  the  power  which 
manifests  itself  in  speech,  and  in  virtue  of  which  the  voice  may 
carry  so  much  of  the  personal  magnetism,  endowing  the  orator 
with  a  tongue  of  fire,  magical  in  its  power  to  arouse  and  rule 
the  emotions  of  his  hearers.  This  emotional  power,  this  dis- 
tinctively psychical  force,  is  the  cause  of  "hunger  and  thirst," 
the  psychical  hunger  and  thirst  for  sensations,  which  is  the 
source  of  our  two-sided  life  of  emotionalism,  with  its  hopes 
and  fears,  its  expectations  and  memories,  its  desires  and  hates. 
The  source  of  this  psychical  power,  or,  perhaps  we  should  say, 
its  center  of  activity  in  the  physical  body  is  said  to  be  in  the 
cavity  of  the  throat.  Thus,  in  the  Taittiriya  Upanishad  it  is 
written:  "There  is  this  shining  ether  in  the  inner  being. 
Therein  is  the  spiritual  man,  formed  through  thought,  im- 
mortal, golden.  Inward,  in  the  palate,  the  organ  that  hangs 
down  like  a  nipple, — this  is  the  womb  of  Indra.  And  there, 
where  the  dividing  of  the  hair  turns,  extending  upward  to  the 
crown  of  the  head." 

Indra  is  the  name  given  to  the  creative  power  of  which 
we  have  spoken,  and  which,  we  are  told,  resides  in  "the  organ 
which  hangs  down  like  a  nipple,  inward,  in  the  palate." 



30.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  center  of 
force  in  the  channel  called  the  "tortoise-formed,"  conies  stead- 

We  are  concerned  now  with  the  center  of  nervous  or 
psychical  force  below  the  cavity  of  the  throat,  in  the  chest,  in 
which  is  felt  the  sensation  of  fear ;  the  center,  the  disturbance  of 
which  sets  the  heart  beating  miserably  with  dread,  or  which 
produces  that  sense  of  terror  through  which  the  heart  is  said 
to  stand  still. 

When  the  truth  concerning  fear  is  thoroughly  mastered, 
through  spiritual  insight  into  the  immortal,  fearless  life,  then 
this  force  is  perfectly  controlled ;  there  is  no  more  fear,  just 
as,  through  the  control  of  the  psychic  power  which  works 
through  the  nerve-center  in  the  throat,  there  comes  a  cessation 
of  "hunger  and  thirst."  Thereafter,  these  forces,  or  their 
spiritual  prototypes,  are  turned  to  the  building  of  the  spiritual 

Always,  it  must  be  remembered,  the  victory  is  first  a 
spiritual  one;  only  later  does  it  bring  control  of  the  bodily 



31.  Through  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the 
light  in  the  head  comes  the  vision  of  the  Masters  who  have  at- 

The  tradition  is,  that  there  is  a  certain  center  of  force  in 
the  head,  perhaps  the  "pineal  gland,"  which  some  of  our  West- 
ern philosophers  have  supposed  to  be  the  dwelling  of  the 
soul, — a  center  which  is,  as  it  were,  the  doorway  between  the 
natural  and  the  spiritual  man.  It  is  the  seat  of  that  better  and 
wiser  consciousness  behind  the  outward  looking  consciousness 
in  the  forward  part  of  the  head ;  that  better  and  wiser  con- 
sciousness of  "the  back  of  the  mind,"  which  views  spiritual 
things,  and  seeks  to  impress  the  spiritual  view  on  the  outward 
looking  consciousness  in  the  forward  part  of  the  head.  It  is 
the  spiritual  man  seeking  to  guide  the  natural  man,  seeking  to 
bring  the  natural  man  to  concern  himself  with  the  things  of  his 
immortality.  This  is  suggested  in  the  words  of  the  Upanishad 
already  quoted :  "there,  where  the  dividing  of  the  hair  turns, 
extending  upward  to  the  crown  of  the  head" ;  all  of  which  may 
sound  very  fantastical,  until  one  comes  to  understand  it. 

It  is  said  that  when  this  power  is  fully  awakened,  it  brings 
a  vision  of  the  great  Companions  of  the  spiritual  man,  those 
who  have  already  attained,  crossing  over  to  the  further  shore 
of  the  sea  of  death  and  rebirth.  Perhaps  it  is  to  this  divine 
sight  that  the  Master  alluded,  who  is  reported  to  have  said : 
"I  counsel  you  to  buy  of  me  eye-salve,  that  you  may  see."  It 
is  of  this  same  vision  of  the  great  Companions,  the  children  of 
light,  that  a  seer  wrote : 

"Though  inland  far  we  be, 
Our  souls  have  sight  of  that  immortal  sea 
Which  brought  us  hither, 
Can  in  a  moment  travel  thither, 
And  see  the  Children  sport  upon  the  shore 
And  hear  the  mighty  waters  rolling  evermore." 



32.  Or  through  the  divining  power  of  intuition  he  knows 
all  things. 

This  is  really  the  supplement,  the  spiritual  side,  of  the 
sutra  just  translated.  Step  by  step,  as  the  beter  conscious- 
ness, the  spiritual  view,  gains  force  in  the  back  of  the  mind, 
so,  in  the  same  measure,  the  spiritual  man  is  gaining  the  power 
to  see :  learning  to  open  the  spiritual  eyes.  When  the  eyes  are 
fully  opened,  the  spiritual  man  beholds  the  great  Companions 
standing  about  him ;  he  has  begun  to  "know  all  things." 

This  divining  power  of  intuition  is  the  power  which  lies 
above  and  behind  the  so-called  rational  mind ;  the  rational  mind 
formulates  a  question  and  lays  it  before  the  intuition,  which 
gives  a  real  answer,  often  immediately  distorted  by  the  rational 
mind,  yet  always  embodying  a  kernel  of  truth.  It  is  by  this 
process,  through  which  the  rational  mind  brings  questions  to 
the  intuition  for  solution,  that  the  truths  of  science  are  reached, 
the  flashes  of  discovery  and  genius.  But  this  higher  power 
need  not  work  in  subordination  to  the  so-called  rational  mind, 
it  may  act  directly,  as  full  illumination,  "the  vision  and  the 
faculty  divine." 

33.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  heart,  the 
interior  being,  conies  the  knowledge  of  consciousness. 

The  heart  here  seems  to  mean,  as  it  so  often  does  in  the 
Upanishads,  the  interior,  spiritual  nature,  the  consciousness 
of  the  spiritual  man,  which  is  related  to  the  heart,  and  to  the 
wisdom  of  the  heart.  By  steadily  seeking  after,  and  finding, 
the  consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man,  by  coming  to  con- 
sciousness as  the  spiritual  man,  a  perfect  knowledge  of  con- 
sciousness will  be  attained.  For  the  consciousness  of  the 
spiritual  man  has  this  divine  quality :  while  being  and  remain- 
ing a  truly  individual  consciousness,  it  at  the  same  time  flows 
over,  as  it  were,  and  blends  with  the  Divine  Consciousness 
above  and  about  it,  the  consciousnes  of  the  great  Companions ; 
and  by  showing  itself  to  be  one  with  the  Divine  Consciousness, 
it  reveals  the  nature  of  all  consciousness,  the  secret  that  all 
consciousness  is  One  and  Divine. 



34.  The  personal  self  seeks  to  feast  on  life,  through  a  fail- 
ure to  perceive  the  distinction  between  the  personal  self  and  the 
spiritual  man.  All  personal  experience  really  exists  for  the  sake 
of  another:  namely,  the  spiritual  man. 

By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  experience  for  the 
sake  of  the  Self,  comes  a  knowledge  of  the  spiritual  man. 

The  divine  ray  of  the  Higher  Self,  which  is  eternal, 
impersonal  and  abstract,  descends  into  life,  and  forms  a  per- 
sonality, which,  through  the  stress  and  storm  of  life,  is  ham- 
mered into  a  definite  and  concrete  self-conscious  individuality. 
The  problem  is,  to  blend  these  two  powers,  taking  the  eternal 
and  spiritual  being  of  the  first,  and  blending  with  it,  trans- 
ferring into  it,  the  self-conscious  individuality  of  the  second ; 
and  thus  bringing  to  life  a  third  being,  the  spiritual  man,  who 
is  heir  to  the  immortality  of  his  father,  the  Higher  Self,  and 
yet  has  the  self-conscious,  concrete  individuality  of  his  other 
parent,  the  personal  self.  This  is  the  true  immaculate  concep- 
tion, the  new  birth  from  above,  "conceived  of  the  Holy  Spirit" ; 
of  this  new  birth  it  is  said :  "that  which  is  born  of  the  Spirit  is 
spirit :  ye  must  be  born  again." 

Rightly  understood,  therefore,  the  whole  life  of  the  per- 
sonal man  is  for  another,  not  for  himself.  He  exists  only  to 
render  his  very  life  and  all  his  experience  for  the  building  up 
of  the  spiritual  man.  Only  through  failure  to  see  this,  does  he 
seek  enjoyment  for  himself,  seek  to  secure  the  feasts  of  life  for 
himself ;  not  understanding  that  he  must  live  for  the  other,  live 
sacrificially,  offering  both  feasts  and  his  very  being  on  the 
altar;  giving  himself  as  a  contribution  for  the  building  of  the 
spiritual  man.  When  he  does  understand  this,  and  lives  for  the 
Higher  Self,  setting  his  heart  and  thought  on  the  Higher  Self, 
then  his  sacrifice  bears  divine  fruit,  the  spiritual  man  is  built 
up,  consciousness  awakes  in  him,  and  he  comes  fully  into  being 
as  a  divine  and  immortal  individuality. 



35.  Thereupon  are  born  the  divine  power  of  intuition,  and 
the  hearing,  the  touch,  the  vision,  the  taste  and  the  power  of 
smell  of  the  spiritual  man. 

When,  in  virtue  of  the  perpetual  sacrifice  of  the  personal 
man,  daily  and  hourly  giving  his  life  for  his  divine  brother  the 
spiritual  man,  and  through  the  radiance  ever  pouring  down 
from  the  Higher  Self,  eternal  in  the  Heavens,  the  spiritual  man 
comes  to  birth,  there  awake  in  him  those  powers  whose  physical 
counterparts  we  know  in  the  personal  man.  The  spiritual  man 
begins  to  see,  to  hear,  to  touch,  to  taste.  And,  besides  the 
senses  of  the  spiritual  man,  there  awakes  his  mind,  that  divine 
counterpart  of  the  mind  of  the  physical  man,  the  power  of 
direct  and  immediate  knowledge,  the  power  of  spiritual  intu- 
ition, of  divination.  This  power,  as  we  have  seen,  owes  its 
virtue  to  the  unity,  the  continuity,  of  consciousness,  whereby 
whatever  is  known  to  any  consciousness,  is  knowable  by  any 
other  consciousness.  Thus  the  consciousness  of  the  spiritual 
man,  who  lives  above  our  narrow  barriers  of  separateness,  is  in 
intimate  touch  with  the  consciousness  of  the  great  Companions, 
and  can  draw  on  that  vast  reservoir  for  all  real  needs.  Thus 
arises  within  the  spiritual  man  certain  knowledge  which  is 
called  intuition,  divination,  illumination. 


36.  These  powers  stand  in  contradistinction  to  the  highest 
spiritual  vision.     In  manifestation  they  are  called  magical  powers. 

The  present  translator  is  not  quite  certain  of  the  meaning 
of  the  difficult  sentence  of  which  the  above  is  offered  as  a 
translation.  It  appears  to  be  this :  The  divine  man  is  destined 
to  supersede  the  spiritual  man,  as  the  spiritual  man  supersedes 
the  natural  man.  Then  the  disciple  becomes  a  Master.  The 
opened  powers  of  the  spiritual  man,  spiritual  vision,  hearing, 
and  touch,  stand,  therefore,  in  contradistinction  to  the  higher 
divine  power  above  them,  and  must  in  no  wise  be  regarded  as 
the  end  of  the  way,  for  the  path  has  no  end,  but  rises  ever  to 
higher  and  higher  glories ;  the  soul's  growth  and  splendor  have 
no  limit.  So  that,  if  the  spiritual  powers  we  have  been  con- 
sidering are  regarded  as  in  any  sense  final,  they  are  a  hindrance, 
a  barrier  to  the  far  higher  powers  of  the  divine  man.  But 
viewed  from  below,  from  the  standpoint  of  normal  physical 
experience,  they  are  powers  truly  magical ;  as  the  powers 
natural  to  a  four-dimensional  being  will  appear  magical  to  a 
three-dimensional  being. 



37.  Through  the  weakening  of  the  causes  of  bondage,  and 
by  learning  the  method  of  passing,  the  consciousness  is  trans- 
ferred to  the  other  body. 

In  due  time,  after  the  spiritual  man  has  been  formed  and 
grown  stable  through  the  forces  and  virtues  already  enu- 
merated, and  after  the  senses  of  the  spiritual  man  have  awaked, 
there  comes  the  transfer  of  the  dominant  consciousness,  the 
sense  of  individuality,  from  the  physical  to  the  spiritual  man. 
Thereafter  the  physical  man  is  felt  to  be  a  secondary,  a  subordi- 
nate, an  instrument  through  whom  the  spiritual  man  works ; 
and  the  spiritual  man  is  felt  to  be  the  real  individuality.  This 
is,  in  a  sense,  the  attainment  to  full  salvation  and  immortal  life ; 
yet  it  is  not  the  final  goal  or  resting  place,  but  only  the  begin- 
ning of  the  greater  way. 

The  means  for  this  transfer  are  described  as  the  weak- 
ening of  the  causes  of  bondage,  and  an  understanding  of  the 
method  of  passing  from  the  one  consciousness  to  the  other. 
The  first  may  also  be  described  as  detachment,  and  comes  from 
the  conquest  of  the  delusion  that  the  personal  self  is  the  real 
man.  When  that  delusion  abates  and  is  held  in  check,  the  finer 
consciousness  of  the  spiritual  man  begins  to  shine  in  the  back- 
ground of  the  mind.  The  transfer  of  the  sense  of  individuality 
to  this  finer  consciousness,  and  thus  to  the  spiritual  man,  then 
becomes  a  matter  of  recollection,  of  attention ;  primarily,  a 
matter  of  taking  a  deeper  interest  in  the  life  and  doings  of  the 
spiritual  man,  than  in  the  pleasures  or  occupations  of  the  per- 
sonality. Therefore  it  is  said :  "Lay  not  up  for  yourselves 
treasures  upon  earth,  where  moth  and  rust  doth  corrupt,  and 
where  thieves  break  through  and  steal :  but  lay  up  for  your- 
selves treasures  in  heaven,  where  neither  moth  nor  rust  doth 
corrupt,  and  where  thieves  do  not  break  through  nor  steal:  for 
where  your  treasure  is,  there  will  your  heart  be  also." 



38.  Through  mastery  of  the  upwards  if  e  comes  freedom 
from  the  dangers  of  water,  morass,  and  thorny  places,  and  the 
power  of  ascension  is  gained. 

Here  is  one  of  the  sentences,  so  characteristic  of  this 
author,  and,  indeed,  of  the  Eastern  spirit,  in  which  there  is  an 
obvious  exterior  meaning,  and,  within  this,  a  clear  interior 
meaning,  not  quite  so  obvious,  but  far  more  vital. 

The  surface  meaning  is,  that  by  mastery  of  a  certain  power, 
called  here  the  upward-life,  and  akin  to  levitation,  there  comes 
the  ability  to  walk  on  water,  or  to  pass  over  thorny  places  with- 
out wounding  the  feet. 

But  there  is  a  deeper  meaning.  When  we  speak  of  the 
disciple's  path  as  a  path  of  thorns,  we  use  a  symbol;  and  the 
same  symbol  is  used  here.  The  upward-life  means  something 
more  than  the  power,  often  manifested  in  abnormal  psychical 
experiences,  of  levitating  the  physical  body,  or  near-by  physical 
objects.  It  means  the  strong  power  of  aspiration,  of  upward 
will,  which  first  builds,  and  then  awakes  the  spiritual  man,  and 
finally  transfers  the  conscious  individuality  to  him;  for  it  is 
he  who  passes  safely  over  the  waters  of  death  and  rebirth,  and 
is  not  pierced  by  the  thorns  in  the  path.  Therefore  it  is  said 
that  he  who  would  tread  the  path  of  power  must  look  for  a 
home  in  the  air,  and  afterwards  in  the  ether. 

Of  the  upward-life,  this  is  written  in  the  Katha  Upanishad : 
"A  hundred  and  one  are  the  heart's  channels ;  of  these  one 
passes  to  the  crown.  Going  up  this,  he  comes  to  the  immortal." 
This  is  the  power  of  ascension  spoken  of  in  the  sutra. 



39.     By  mastery  of  the  binding-life  conies  radiance. 

In  the  Upanishads,  it  is  said  that  this  binding-life  unites 
the  upward-life  to  the  downward-life,  and  these  lives  have  their 
analogues  in  the  "vital  breaths"  in  the  body.  The  thought  in 
the  text  seems  to  be,  that,  when  the  personality  is  brought 
thoroughly  under  the  control  of  the  spiritual  man,  through  the 
life-currents  which  bind  them  together,  the  personality  is  en- 
dowed with  a  new  force,  a  strong  personal  magnetism,  one 
might  call  it,  such  as  is  often  an  appanage  of  genius. 

But  the  text  seems  to  mean  more  than  this,  and  to  have  in 
view  the  "vesture  of  the  color  of  the  sun"  attributed  by  the 
Upanishads  to  the  spiritual  man ;  that  vesture  which  a  disciple 
has  thus  described:  "The  Lord  shall  change  our  vile  body, 
that  it  may  be  fashioned  like  unto  his  glorious  body" ;  perhaps 
"body  of  radiance"  would  better  translate  the  Greek. 

In  both  these  passages,  the  teaching  seems  to  be,  that  the 
body  of  the  full-grown  spiritual  man  is  radiant  or  luminous, — 
for  those,  at  least,  who  have  anointed  their  eyes  with  eye-salve, 
so  that  they  see. 



40.  From  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  corre- 
lation of  hearing  and  the  ether,  comes  the  power  of  spiritual 

Physical  sound,  we  are  told,  is  carried  by  the  air,  or  by 
water,  iron,  or  some  medium  on  the  same  plane  of  substance. 
But  there  is  a  finer  hearing,  whose  medium  of  transmission 
would  seem  to  be  the  ether ;  perhaps  not  that  ether  which  car- 
ries light,  heat  and  magnetic  waves,  but,  it  may  be,  the  far 
finer  ether  through  which  the  power  of  gravity  works.  For, 
while  light  or  heat  or  magnetic  waves,  travelling  from  the  sun 
to  the  earth,  take  eight  minutes  for  the  journey,  it  is  mathe- 
matically certain  that  the  pull  of  gravitation  does  not  take  as 
much  as  eight  seconds,  or  even  the  eighth  of  a  second.  The 
pull  of  gravitation  travels,  it  would  seem  "as  quick  as  thought"  ; 
so  it  may  well  be  that,  in  thought  transference  or  telepathy,  the 
thoughts  travel  by  the  same  way,  carried  by  the  same  "thought- 
swift"  medium. 

The  transfer  of  a  word  by  telepathy  is  the  simplest  and 
earliest  form  of  the  "divine  hearing"  of  the  spiritual  man;  as 
that  power  grows,  and  as,  through  perfectly  concentrated 
Meditation,  the  spiritual  man  comes  into  more  complete  mastery 
of  it,  he  grows  able  to  hear  and  clearly  distinguish  the  speech 
of  the  great  Companions,  who  counsel  and  comfort  him  on  his 
way.  They  may  speak  to  him  either  in  wordless  thoughts,  or 
in  perfectly  definite  words  and  sentences. 



41.  By  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  correla- 
tion of  the  body  with  the  ether,  and  by  thinking  of  it  as  light  as 
thistle-down,  will  come  the  power  to  traverse  the  ether. 

It  has  been  said  that  he  who  would  tread  the  path  of  power 
must  look  for  a  home  in  the  air,  and  afterwards  in  the  ether. 
This  would  seem  to  mean,  besides  the  constant  injunction  to 
detachment,  that  he  must  be  prepared  to  inhabit  first  a  psychic, 
and  then  an  etheric  body  ;  the  former  being  the  body  of  dreams  ; 
the  latter,  the  body  of  the  spiritual  man,  when  he  wakes  up  on 
the  other  side  of  dreamland.  The  gradual  accustoming  of  the 
consciousness  to  its  new  etheric  vesture,  its  gradual  acclima- 
tisation, so  to  speak,  in  the  etheric  body  of  the  spiritual  man,  is 
what  our  text  seems  to  contemplate. 

42.  When  that  condition  of  consciousness  is  reached, 
which  is  far-reaching  and  not  confined  to  the  body,  which  is  out- 
side the  body  and  not  conditioned  by  it,  then  the  veil  which 
conceals  the  light  is  worn  away. 

Perhaps  the  best  comment  on  this  is  afforded  by  the  words 
of  Paul :  "I  knew  a  man  in  Christ  above  fourteen  years  ago, 
(whether  in  the  body,  I  cannot  tell;  or  whether  out  of  the 
body,  I  cannot  tell:  God  knoweth;)  such  a  one  caught  up  to 
the  third  heaven.  And  I  knew  such  a  man,  (whether  in  the 
body,  or  out  of  the  body,  I  cannot  tell:  God  knoweth;)  how 
that  he  was  caught  up  into  paradise,  and  heard  unspeakable 
words,  which  it  is  not  lawful  for  a  man  to  utter." 

The  condition  is,  briefly,  that  of  the  awakened  spiritual 
man,  who  sees  and  hears  beyond  the  veil. 



43.  Mastery  of  the  elements  comes  from  perfectly  con- 
centrated Meditation  on  their  five  forms:  the  gross,  the  elemen- 
tal, the  subtle,  the  pervading,  the  essential  or  objective. 

These  five  forms  are  analogous  to  those  recognized  by 
modern  physics:  solid,  liquid,  gaseous,  radiant  and  ionic. 
When  the  piercing  vision  of  the  awakened  spiritual  man  is 
directed  to  the  forms  of  matter,  from  within,  as  it  were,  from 
behind  the  scenes,  then  perfect  mastery  over  the  "beggarly 
elements"  is  attained.  This  is,  perhaps,  equivalent  to  the  in- 
junction :  "Inquire  of  the  earth,  the  air,  and  the  water,  of  the 
secrets  they  hold  for  you.  The  development  of  your  inner 
senses  will  enable  you  to  do  this." 

44.  Thereupon  will  come  the  manifestation  of  the  atomic 
and  other  powers,  which  are  the  endowment  of  the  body,  together 
with  its  unassailable  force. 

The  body  in  question  is,  of  course,  the  etheric  body  of  the 
spiritual  man.  He  is  said  to  possess  eight  powers :  the  atomic, 
the  power  of  assimilating  himself  with  the  nature  of  the  atom, 
which  will,  perhaps,  involve  the  power  to  disintegrate  material 
forms ;  the  power  of  levitation ;  the  power  of  limitless  ex- 
tension ;  the  power  of  boundless  reach,  so  that,  as  the  commen- 
tator says,  "he  can  touch  the  moon  with  the  tip  of  his  finger" ; 
the  power  to  accomplish  his  will ;  the  power  of  gravitation,  the 
correlative  of  levitation ;  the  power  of  command ;  the  power 
of  creative  will.  These  are  the  endowments  of  the  spiritual 
man.  Further,  the  spiritual  body  is  unassailable.  Fire  burns 
it  not,  water  wets  it  not,  the  sword  cleaves  it  not,  dry  winds 
parch  it  not.  And,  it  is  said,  the  spiritual  man  can  impart 
something  of  this  quality  and  temper  to  his  bodily  vesture. 


45.  Shapeliness,  beauty,  force,  the  temper  of  the  diamond: 
these  are  the  endowments  of  that  body. 

The  spiritual  man  is  shapely,  beautiful,  strong,  firm  as  the 
diamond.  Therefore  it  is  written:  "These  things  saith  the 
Son  of  God,  who  hath  his  eyes  like  unto  a  flame  of  fire,  and  his 
feet  are  like  fine  brass:  He  that  overcometh  and  keepeth  my 
works  unto  the  end,  to  him  will  I  give  power  over  the  nations : 
and  he  shall  rule  them  with  a  rod  of  iron ;  and  I  will  give  him 
the  morning  star." 

46.  Mastery  over  the  powers  of  perception  and  action 
comes  through  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  their  five= 
fold  forms;  namely,  their  power  to  grasp,  their  distinctive  nature, 
the  element  of  self=consciousness  in  them,  their  pervasiveness, 
and  their  objectivity. 

Take,  for  example,  sight.  This  possesses,  first,  the  power 
to  grasp,  apprehend,  perceive ;  second,  it  has  its  distinctive  form 
of  perception ;  that  is,  visual  perception ;  third,  it  always  carries 
with  its  operations  self-consciousness,  the  thought:  "I  per- 
ceive" ;  fourth,  sight  has  the  power  of  extension  through  the 
whole  field  of  vision,  even  to  the  utmost  star;  fifth,  it  presents 
its  reports  as  something  objective  to  consciousness.  So  with 
the  other  senses.  Perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  each 
sense,  a  viewing  it  from  behind  and  within,  as  is  possible  for 
the  spiritual  man,  brings  a  mastery  of  the  scope  and  true 
character  of  each  sense,  and  of  the  world  on  which  they  report 

47.  Thence  come  the  power  swift  as  thought,  independence 
of  instruments,  and  mastery  over  matter. 

We  are  further  enumerating  the  endowments  of  the 
spiritual  man.  Among  these  is  the  power  to  traverse  space 
with  the  swiftness  of  thought,  so  that  whatever  place  the 
spiritual  man  thinks  of,  to  that  he  goes,  in  that  place  he  already 
is.  Thought  has  now  become  his  means  of  locomotion.  He  is, 
therefore,  independent  of  instruments,  and  can  bring  his  force 
to  bear  directly,  wherever  he  wills. 



48.  When  the  spiritual  man  is  perfectly  disentangled  from 
the  psychic  body,  he  attains  to  mastery  over  all  things  and  to  a 
knowledge  of  all. 

The  spiritual  man  is  enmeshed  in  the  web  of  the  emotions ; 
desire,  fear,  ambition,  passion ;  and  impeded  by  the  mental 
forms  of  separateness  and  materialism.  When  these  meshes 
are  sundered,  these  obstacles  completely  overcome,  then  the 
spiritual  man  stands  forth  in  his  own  wide  world,  strong, 
mighty,  wise.  He  uses  divine  powers,  with  a  divine  scope  and 
energy,  working  together  with  divine  Companions.  To  such 
a  one  it  is  said :  "Thou  art  now  a  disciple,  able  to  stand,  able 
to  hear,  able  to  see,  able  to  speak,  thou  hast  conquered  desire 
and  attained  to  self-knowledge,  thou  hast  seen  thy  soul  in  its 
bloom  and  recognized  it,  and  heard  the  voice  of  the  silence." 

49.  By  absence  of  all  self=indulgence  at  this  point,  also,  the 
seeds  of  bondage  to  sorrow  are  destroyed,  and  pure  spiritual 
being  is  attained. 

The  seeking  of  indulgence  for  the  personal  self,  whether 
through  passion  or  ambition,  sows  the  seed  of  future  sorrow. 
For  this  self-indulgence  of  the  personality  is  a  double  sin 
against  the  real ;  a  sin  against  the  cleanness  of  life,  and  a  sin 
against  the  universal  being,  which  permits  no  exclusive  par- 
ticular good,  since,  in  the  real,  all  spiritual  possessions  are  held 
in  common.  This  twofold  sin  brings  its  reacting  punishment, 
its  confining  bondage  to  sorrow.  But  ceasing  from  self- 
indulgence  brings  purity,  liberation,  spiritual  life. 



50.  There  should  be  complete  overcoming  of  allurement 
or  pride  in  the  invitations  of  the  different  regions  of  life,  lest 
attachment  to  things  evil  arise  once  more. 

The  commentator  tells  us  that  disciples,  seekers  for  union, 
are  of  four  degrees:  first,  those  who  are  entering  the  path; 
second,  those  who  are  in  the  realm  of  allurements ;  third,  those 
who  have  won  the  victory  over  matter  and  the  senses ;  fourth, 
those  who  stand  firm  in  pure  spiritual  life.  To  the  second, 
especially,  the  caution  in  the  text  is  addressed.  More  modern 
teachers  would  express  the  same  truth  by  a  warning  against 
the  delusions  and  fascinations  of  the  psychic  realm,  which  open 
around  the  disciple,  as  he  breaks  through  into  the  unseen 
worlds.  These  are  the  dangers  of  the  anteroom.  Safety  lies  in 
passing  on  swiftly  into  the  inner  chamber.  ''Him  that  over- 
cometh  will  I  make  a  pillar  in  the  temple  of  my  God,  and  he 
shall  go  no  more  out." 

51.  From  perfectly  concentrated  Meditation  on  the  divis- 
ions of  time  and  their  succession  comes  that  wisdom  which  is 
born  of  discernment. 

The  Upanishads  say  of  the  liberated  that  "he  has  passed 
beyond  the  triad  of  time";  he  no  longer  sees  life  as  projected 
into  past,  present  and  future,  since  these  are  forms  of  the 
mind;  but  beholds  all  things  spread  out  in  the  quiet  light  of 
the  Eternal.  This  would  seem  to  be  the  same  thought,  and  to 
point  to  that  clear-eyed  spiritual  perception  which  is  above 
time ;  that  wisdom  born  of  the  unveiling  of  Time's  delusion. 
Then  shall  the  disciple  live  neither  in  the  present  nor  the  future, 
but  in  the  Eternal. 



52.  Hence  comes  discernment  between  things  which  are 
of  like  nature,  not  distinguished  by  difference  of  kind,  character 
or  position. 

Here,  as  also  in  the  preceding  sutra,  we  are  close  to  the 
Kantian  doctrine  that  distinctions  of  order,  time  and  space  are 
creations  of  the  mind;  the  threefold  prism  through  which  the 
thing-in-itself  appears  to  us  distorted  and  refracted.  When 
the  prisim  is  withdrawn,  the  thing-in-itself  returns  to  its  primal 
unity,  no  longer  distinguishable  by  the  mind,  yet  clearly  know- 
able  by  that  high  power  of  spiritual  discernment,  of  illumina- 
tion, which  is  above  the  mind. 

53.  The  wisdom  which  is  born  of  discernment  is  starlike; 
it  discerns  all  things,  and  all  conditions  of  things,  it  discerns 
without  succession:  simultaneously. 

That  wisdom,  that  intuitive,  divining  power  is  starlike, 
says  the  commentator,  because  it  shines  with  its  own  light, 
because  it  rises  on  high,  and  illumines  all  things.  Nought  is 
hid  from  it,  whether  things  past,  things  present,  or  things  to 
come;  for  it  is  beyond  the  threefold  form  of  time,  so  that  all 
things  are  spread  before  it  together,  in  the  single  light  of  the 
divine.  This  power  has  been  beautifully  described  by  Co- 
lumba:  "Some  there  are,  though  very  few,  to  whom  Divine 
grace  has  granted  this:  that  they  can  clearly  and  most  dis- 
tinctly see,  at  one  and  the  same  moment,  as  though  under  one 
ray  of  the  sun,  even  the  entire  circuit  of  the  whole  world  with 
its  surroundings  of  ocean  and  sky,  the  inmost  part  of  their 
mind  being  marvelously  enlarged." 

54.  When  the  vesture  and  the  spiritual  man  are  alike  pure, 
then  perfect  spiritual  life  is  attained. 

The  vesture,  says  the  commentator,  must  first  be  washed 
pure  of  all  stains  of  passion  and  darkness,  and  the  seeds  of 
future  sorrow  must  be  burned  up  utterly.  Then,  both  the 
vesture  and  the  wearer  of  the  vesture  being  alike  pure,  the 
spiritual  man  enters  into  perfect  spiritual  life. 


Introduction  to  Book  IV. 

The  Third  Book  of  the  Sutras  has  fairly  completed  the 
history  of  the  birth  and  growth  of  the  spiritual  man,  and  the 
enumeration  of  his  powers;  at  least  so  far  as  concerns  that 
first  epoch  in  his  immortal  life,  which  immediately  succeeds, 
and  supersedes,  the  life  of  the  natural  man. 

In  the  Fourth  Book,  we  are  to  consider  what  one  might 
call  the  mechanism  of  Salvation,  the  ideally  simple  working 
of  cosmic  law  which  brings  the  spiritual  man  to  birth,  growth, 
and  fullness  of  power,  and  prepares  him  for  the  splendid,  toil- 
some further  stages  of  his  great  journey  home. 

The  Sutras  are  here  brief  to  obscurity;  only  a  few  words, 
for  example,  are  given  to  the  great  triune  mystery  and  illusion 
of  Time ;  a  phrase  or  two  indicate  the  sweep  of  some  universal 
law.  Yet  it  is  hoped  that,  by  keeping  our  eyes  fixed  on  the 
spiritual  man,  remembering  that  he  is  the  hero  of  the  story,  and 
that  all  that  is  written  concerns  him  and  his  adventures,  we 
may  be  able  to  find  our  way  through  this  thicket  of  tangled 
words,  and  keep  in  our  hands  the  clue  to  the  mystery. 

The  last  part  of  the  last  book  needs  little  introduction.  In 
a  sense,  it  is  the  most  important  part  of  the  whole  treatise, 
since  it  unmasks  the  nature  of  the  personality,  that  psychical 
"mind,"  which  is  the  wakeful  enemy  of  all  who  seek  to  tread 
the  path.  Even  now,  you  can  hear  it  whispering  the  doubt 
whether  that  can  be  a  good  path,  which  thus  sets  "mind"  at 

If  this,  then,  be  the  most  vital  and  fundamental  part  of 
the  teaching,  should  it  not  stand  first  at  the  very  beginning? 
It  may  seem  so  at  first ;  but  had  it  stood  there,  you  would  not 
have  comprehended  it.  The  riddle  of  personality  cannot  be  so 
lightly  read.     If  you  have  faithfully  followed  what  has  gone 



before,  and  wrought  it,  as  you  would  be  wise  to  do,  into  the 
fabric  of  your  life,  then  you  have  already  come  to  grips  with 
personality,  and  gained,  let  us  hope,  some  preliminary  victories. 
If  you  have  done  this,  you  are  now  in  a  position  to  un- 
derstand the  broad  outlines  of  the  teaching  now  set  before  you. 
If  not,  go  back  over  it,  for  the  record  of  the  teaching  is  extant, 
and  ready  to  your  hand ;  and  the  task  and  the  foe  are  also 
ready  to  your  hand ;  likely,  indeed,  so  to  remain  for  some  time 
yet.  Therefore  you  can  set  about  your  lesson,  and  wage  your 
fight.  And  thus  you  will  truly  learn.  For  he  who  would  know 
the  doctrine  must  lead  the  life,  doing  the  will  of  his  Father 
which  is  in  Heaven. 



i.  Psychic  and  spiritual  powers  may  be  inborn,  or  they 
may  be  gained  by  the  use  of  drugs,  or  by  incantations,  or  by 

Spiritual  powers  have  been  enumerated  and  described  in 
the  preceding  sections.  They  are.  the  normal  powers  of  the 
spiritual  man,  the  antetype,  the  divine  edition,  of  the  powers  of 
the  natural  man.  Through  these  powers,  the  spiritual  man 
stands,  sees,  hears,  speaks,  in  the  spiritual  world,  as  the  physical 
man  stands,  sees,  hears,  speaks  in  the  natural  world. 

There  is  a  counterfeit  presentment  of  the  spiritual  man,  in 
the  world  of  dreams,  a  shadow  lord  of  shadows,  who  has  his 
own  dreamy  powers  of  vision,  of  hearing,  of  movement;  he 
has  left  the  natural  without  reaching  the  spiritual.  He  has  set 
forth  from  the  shore,  but  has  not  gained  the  further  verge  of 
the  river.  He  is  borne  along  by  the  stream,  with  no  foothold 
on  either  shore.  Leaving  the  actual,  he  has  fallen  short  of  the 
real,  caught  in  the  limbo  of  vanities  and  delusions.  The  cause 
of  this  aberrant  phantasm  is  always  the  worship  of  a  false, 
vain  self,  the  lord  of  dreams,  within  one's  own  breast.  This 
is  the  psychic  man,  lord  of  delusive  and  bewildering  psychic 

Spiritual  powers,  like  intellectual  or  artistic  gifts,  may  be 
inborn :  the  fruit,  that  is,  of  seeds  planted  and  reared  with  toil 
in  a  former  birth.  So  also  the  powers  of  the  psychic  man  may 
be  inborn,  a  delusive  harvest  from  seeds  of  delusion. 

Psychical  powers  may  be  gained  by  drugs,  as  poverty, 
shame,  debasement  may  be  gained  by  the  self-same  drugs.  In 
their  action,  they  are  baneful,  cutting  the  man  off  from  con- 
sciousness of  the  restraining  power  of  his  divine  nature,  so 



that  his  forces  break  forth  exuberant,  like  the  laughter  of 
drunkards,  and  he  sees  and  hears  things  delusive.  While  sink- 
ing, he  believes  that  he  has  risen ;  growing  weaker,  he  thinks 
himself  full  of  strength;  beholding  illusions,  he  takes  them  to 
be  true.  Such  are  the  powers  gained  by  drugs,  psychic  wholly, 
since  the  real  powers,  the  spiritual,  can  never  be  so  gained. 

Incantations  are  affirmations  of  half-truths  concerning 
spirit  and  matter,  what  is  and  what  is  not,  which  work  upon 
the  mind  and  slowly  build  up  a  wraith  of  powers  and  a  delusive 
well-being.    These,  too,  are  of  the  psychic  realm  of  dreams. 

Lastly,  there  are  the  true  powers  of  the  spiritual  man,  built 
up  and  realized  in  Meditation,  through  reverent  obedience  to 
spiritual  law,  to  the  pure  conditions  of  being,  in  the  divine 



BOOK     IV 

2.  The  transfer  of  powers  from  one  plane  to  another  conies 
through  the  flow  of  the  natural  creative  forces. 

Here,  if  you  can  perceive  it,  is  the  whole  secret  of  spiritual 
birth,  growth  and  life.  Spiritual  being,  like  all  being,  is  but 
an  expression  of  the  Self,  of  the  inherent  power  and  being  of 
Atma.  Inherent  in  the  Self  are  consciousness  and  will,  which 
have,  as  their  lordly  heritage,  the  wide  sweep  of  the  universe 
throughout  eternity,  for  Self  is  one  with  the  Eternal.  And  the 
consciousness  of  the  Self  may  make  itself  manifest  as  seeing, 
hearing,  tasting,  feeling,  or  whatsoever  perceptive  powers  there 
may  be,  just  as  the  white  sunlight  may  divide  into  many- 
colored  rays.  So  may  the  will  of  the  Self  manifest  itself  in 
the  uttering  of  words,  or  in  handling,  or  in  moving,  and  what- 
ever powers  of  action  there  are  throughout  the  seven  worlds. 
Where  the  Self  is,  there  will  its  powers  be.  It  is  but  a  ques- 
tion of  the  vesture  through  which  these  powers  shall  shine 
forth.  And  wherever  the  consciousness  and  desire  of  the  ever- 
creative  Self  are  fixed,  there  will  a  vesture  be  built  up ;  where 
the  heart  is,  there  will  the  treasure  be  also. 

Since  through  ages  the  desire  of  the  Self  has  been  toward 
the  natural  world,  wherein  the  Self  sought  to  mirror  himself 
that  he  might  know  himself,  therefore  a  vesture  of  natural 
elements  came  into  being,  through  which  blossomed  forth  the 
Self's  powers  of  perceiving  and  of  will:  the  power  to  see,  to 
hear,  to  speak,  to  walk,  to  handle;  and  when  the  Self,  thus 
come  to  self-consciousness,  and,  with  it,  to  a  knowledge  of  his 
imprisonment,  shall  set  his  desire  on  the  divine  and  real  world, 
and  raise  his  consciousness  thereto,  the  spiritual  vesture  shall 
be  built  up  for  him  there,  with  its  expression  of  his  inherent 
powers.  Nor  will  migration  thither  be  difficult  for  the  Self, 
since  the  divine  is  no  strange  or  foreign  land  for  him,  but  the 
house  of  his  home,  where  he  dwells  from  everlasting. 



3.  The  apparent,  immediate  cause  is  not  the  true  cause 
of  the  creative  nature=powers;  but,  like  the  husbandman  in  his 
field,  it  takes  obstacles  away. 

The  husbandman  tills  his  field,  breaking  up  the  clods  of 
earth  into  fine  mould,  penetrable  to  air  and  rain ;  he  sows  his 
seed,  carefully  covering  it,  for  fear  of  birds  and  the  wind ;  he 
waters  the  seed-laden  earth,  turning  the  little  rills  from  the 
irrigation  tank  now  this  way  and  that,  removing  obstacles 
from  the  channels,  until  the  even  flow  of  water  vitalizes  the 
whole  field.  And  so  the  plants  germinate  and  grow,  first  the 
blade,  then  the  ear,  then  the  full  corn  in  the  ear.  But  it  is  not 
the  husbandman  who  makes  them  grow.  It  is,  first,  the 
miraculous  plasmic  power  in  the  grain  of  seed,  which  brings 
forth  after  its  kind ;  then  the  alchemy  of  sunlight  which,  in 
presence  of  the  green  coloring  matter  of  the  leaves,  gathers 
hydrogen  from  the  water  and  carbon  from  the  gases  in  the 
air,  and  mingles  them  in  the  hydro-carbons  of  plant-growth; 
and,  finally,  the  wholly  occult  vital  powers  of  the  plant  itself, 
stored  up  through  ages,  and  flowing  down  from  the  primal 
sources  of  life.  The  husbandman  but  removes  the  obstacles. 
He  plants  and  waters,  but  God  gives  the  increase. 

So  with  the  finer  husbandman  of  diviner  fields.  He  tills 
and  sows,  but  the  growth  of  the  spiritual  man  comes  through 
the  surge  and  flow  of  divine,  creative  forces  and  powers. 
Here,  again,  God  gives  the  increase.  The  divine  Self  puts 
forth,  for  the  manifestation  of  its  powers,  a  new  and  finer 
vesture,  the  body  of  the  spiritual  man. 


BOOK     IV 

4.  Vestures  of  consciousness  are  built  up  in  conformity 
with  the  position  of  the  feeling  of  selfhood. 

The  Self,  says  a  great  Teacher,  in  turn  attributes  itself  to 
three  vestures :  first,  to  the  physical  body,  then  to  the  finer 
body,  and  thirdly  to  the  causal  body.  Finally  it  stands  forth 
radiant,  luminous,  joyous,  as  the  Self. 

When  the  Self  attributes  itself  to  the  physical  body,  there 
arise  the  states  of  bodily  consciousness,  built  up  about  the 
physical  self. 

When  the  Self,  breaking  through  this  first  illusion,  begins 
to  see  and  feel  itself  in  the  finer  body,  to  find  selfhood  there, 
then  the  states  of  consciousness  of  the  finer  body  come  into 
being;  or,  to  speak  exactly,  the  finer  body  and  its  states  of 
consciousness  arise  and  grow  together. 

But  the  Self  must  not  dwell  permanently  there.  It  must 
learn  to  find  itself  in  the  causal  body,  to  build  up  the  wide  and 
luminous  fields  of  consciousness  that  belong  to  that. 

Nor  must  it  dwell  forever  there,  for  there  remains  the 
fourth  state,  the  divine,  with  its  own  splendor  and  everlasting- 

It  is  all  a  question  of  the  states  of  consciousness ;  all  a 
question  of  raising  the  sense  of  selfhood,  until  it  dwells  forever 
in  the  Eternal. 



5.  In  the  different  fields  of  manifestation,  the  Conscious- 
ness, though  one,  is  the  effective  cause  of  many  states  of  con- 

Here  is  the  splendid  teaching  of  oneness  that  lies  at  the 
heart  of  the  Eastern  wisdom.  Consciousness  is  ultimately  One, 
everywhere  and  forever.  The  Eternal,  the  Father,  is  the  One 
Self  of  All  Beings.  And  so,  in  each  individual  who  is  but  a 
facet  of  that  Self,  Consciousness  is  One.  Whether  it  breaks 
through  as  the  dull  fire  of  physical  life,  or  the  murky  flame  of 
the  psychic  and  passional,  or  the  radiance  of  the  spiritual  man, 
or  the  full  glory  of  the  Divine,  it  is  ever  the  Light,  naught  but 
the  Eight.  The  one  Consciousness  is  the  effective  cause  of  all 
states  of  consciousness,  on  every  plane. 

6.  Among  states  of  consciousness,  that  which  is  born  of 
Meditation  is  free  from  the  seed  of  future  sorrow. 

Where  the  consciousness  breaks  forth  in  the  physical  body, 
and  the  full  play  of  bodily  life  begins,  its  progression  carries 
with  it  inevitable  limitations.  Birth  involves  death.  Meetings 
have  their  partings.  Hunger  alternates  with  satiety.  Age 
follows  on  the  heels  of  youth.  So  do  the  states  of  conscious- 
ness run  along  the  circle  of  birth  and  death. 

With  the  psychic,  the  alteration  between  prize  and  penalty 
is  swifter.  Hope  has  its  shadow  of  fear,  or  it  is  no  hope. 
Exclusive  love  is  tortured  by  jealousy.  Pleasure  passes  through 
deadness  into  pain.  Pain's  surcease  brings  pleasure  back  again. 
So  here,  too,  the  states  of  consciousness  run  their  circle.  In 
all  psychic  states  there  is  egotism,  which,  indeed,  is  the  very 
essence  of  the  psychic ;  and  where  there  is  egotism  there  is  ever 
the  seed  of  future  sorrow.    Desire  carries  bondage  in  its  womb. 

But  where  the  pure  spiritual  consciousness  begins,  free 
from  self  and  stain,  the  ancient  law  of  retaliation  ceases;  the 
penalty  of  sorrow  lapses  and  is  no  more  imposed.  The  soul 
now  passes,  no  longer  from  sorrow  to  sorrow,  but  from  glory 
to  glory.  Its  growth  and  splendor  have  no  limit.  The  good 
passes  to  better,  best. 


BOOK     IV 

7.  The  works  of  followers  after  Union  make  neither  for 
bright  pleasure  nor  for  dark  pain.  The  works  of  others  make 
for  pleasure  or  pain,  or  a  mingling  of  these. 

The  man  of  desire  wins  from  his  works  the  reward  of 
pleasure,  or  incurs  the  penalty  of  pain;  or,  as  so  often  hap- 
pens in  life,  his  guerdon,  like  the  passionate  mood  of  the  lover, 
is  part  pleasure  and  part  pain.  Works  done  with  self-seeking 
bear  within  them  the  seeds  of  future  sorrow ;  conversely, 
according  to  the  proverb,  present  pain  is  future  gain. 

But,  for  him  who  has  gone  beyond  desire,  whose  desire  is 
set  on  the  Eternal,  neither  pain  to  be  avoided  nor  pleasure  to 
be  gained  inspires  his  work.  He  fears  no  hell  and  desires  no 
heaven.  His  one  desire  is,  to  know  the  will  of  the  Father  and 
finish  his  work.  He  comes  directly  in  line  with  the  divine 
Will,  and  works  cleanly  and  immediately,  without  longing  or 
fear.  His  heart  dwells  in  the  Eternal;  all  his  desires  are  set 
on  the  Eternal. 



8.  From  the  force  inherent  in  works  comes  the  manifesta- 
tion of  those  dynamic  mind-images  which  are  conformable  to  the 
ripening  out  of  each  of  these  works. 

We  are  now  to  consider  the  general  mechanism  of  Karma, 
in  order  that  we  may  pass  on  to  the  consideration  of  him  who 
is  free  from  Karma.  Karma,  indeed,  is  the  concern  of  the 
personal  man,  of  his  bondage  or  freedom.  It  is  the  succession 
of  the  forces  which  built  up  the  personal  man,  reproducing 
themselves  in  one  personality  after  another. 

Now  let  us  take  an  imaginary  case,  to  see  how  these  forces 
may  work  out.  Let  us  think  of  a  man,  with  murderous  intent 
in  his  heart,  striking  with  a  dagger  at  his  enemy.  He  makes  a 
red  wound  in  his  victim's  breast ;  at  the  same  instant  he  paints, 
in  his  own  mind,  a  picture  of  that  wound:  a  picture  dynamic 
with  all  the  fierce  will-power  he  has  put  into  his  murderous 
blow.  In  other  words  he  has  made  a  deep  wound  in  his  own 
psychic  body ;  and,  when  he  comes  to  be  born  again,  that  body 
will  become  his  outermost  vesture,  upon  which,  with  its  wound 
still  there,  bodily  tissue  will  be  built  up.  So  the  man  will  be 
born  maimed,  or  with  the  predisposition  to  some  mortal  injury; 
he  is  unguarded  at  that  point,  and  any  trifling  accidental  blow 
will  pierce  the  broken  joints  of  his  psychic  armor.  Thus  do 
the  dynamic  mind-images  manifest  themselves,  coming  to  the 
surface,  so  that  works  done  in  the  past  may  ripen  and  come  to 


BOOK     IV 

9.  Works  separated  by  different  births,  or  place,  or  time, 
may  be  brought  together  by  uniformity  of  memory  or  dynamic 

Just  as,  in  the  ripening  out  of  mind-images  into  bodily 
conditions,  the  effect  is  brought  about  by  the  ray  of  creative 
force  sent  down  by  the  Self,  somewhat  as  the  light  of  the 
magic  lantern  projects  the  details  of  a  picture  on  the  screen, 
revealing  the  hidden,  and  making  secret  things  palpable  and 
visible,  so  does  this  divine  ray  exercise  a  selective  power  on 
the  dynamic  mind-images,  bringing  together  into  one  day  of 
life  the  seeds  gathered  from  many  days.  The  memory  con- 
stantly exemplifies  this  power;  a  passage  of  poetry  will  call 
up  in  the  mind  like  passages  of  many  poets,  read  at  different 
times.    So  a  prayer  may  call  up  many  prayers. 

In  like  manner,  the  same  over-ruling  selective  power, 
which  is  a  ray  of  the  Higher  Self,  gathers  together  from  dif- 
ferent births  and  times  and  places  those  mind-images  which 
are  conformable,  and  may  be  grouped  in  the  frame  of  a  single 
life  or  a  single  event.  Through  this  grouping  are  visible  bodily 
conditions  or  outward  circumstances  brought  about,  and  by 
these  the  soul  is  taught  and  trained. 

Just  as  the  dynamic  mind-images  of  desire  ripen  out  in 
bodily  conditions  and  circumstances,  so  the  far  more  dynamic 
powers  of  aspiration,  wherein  the  soul  reaches  toward  the 
Eternal,  have  their  fruition  in  a  finer  world,  building  the  ves- 
ture of  the  spiritual  man. 



10.  The  series  of  dynamic  mind -images  is  beginningless, 
because  Desire  is  everlasting. 

The  whole  series  of  dynamic  mind-images,  which  make 
up  the  entire  history  of  the  personal  man,  is  a  part  of  the 
mechanism  which  the  Self  employs,  to  mirror  itself  in  a  reflec- 
tion, to  embody  its  powers  in  an  outward  form,  to  the  end  of 
self-expression,  self-realization,  self-knowledge.  Therefore 
the  initial  impulse  behind  these  dynamic  mind-images  comes 
from  the  Self,  and  is  the  descending  ray  of  the  Self;  so  that 
it  cannot  be  said  that  there  is  any  first  member  of  the  series  of 
images,  from  which  the  rest  arose.  The  impulse  is  beginning- 
less,  since  it  comes  from  the  Self,  which  is  from  everlasting. 
Desire  is  not  to  cease ;  it  is  to  turn  to  the  Eternal,  and  so 
become  aspiration. 

ii.  Since  the  dynamic  mind-images  are  held  together  by 
impulses  of  desire,  by  the  wish  for  personal  reward,  by  the  sub- 
stratum of  mental  habit,  by  the  support  of  outer  things  desired; 
therefore,  when  these  cease,  the  self-reproduction  of  dynamic 
mind-images  ceases. 

We  are  still  concerned  with  the  personal  life  in  its  bodily 
vesture,  and  with  the  process  whereby  the  forces,  which  have 
upheld  it,  are  gradually  transferred  to  the  life  of  the  spiritual 
man,  and  build  up  for  him  his  finer  vesture  in  a  finer  world. 

How  is  the  current  to  be  changed?  How  is  the  flow  of 
self-reproductive  mind-images,  which  have  built  the  conditions 
of  life  after  life  in  this  world  of  bondage,  to  be  checked,  that 
the  time  of  imprisonment  may  come  to  an  end,  the  day  of 
liberation  dawn? 

The  answer  is  given  in  the  sutra  just  translated.  The  true 
driving-force  is  withdrawn  and  directed  to  the  upbuilding  of 
the  spiritual  body. 

When  the  building  impulses  and  forces  are  withdrawn,  the 
tendency  to  manifest  a  new  physical  body,  a  new  body  of 
bondage,  ceases  with  them. 


BOOK     IV 

12.  The  difference  between  that  which  is  past  and  that 
which  is  not  yet  come,  according  to  their  natures,  depends  on 
the  difference  of  phase  of  their  properties. 

Here  we  come  to  a  high  and  difficult  matter,  which  has 
always  been  held  to  be  of  great  moment  in  the  Eastern  wisdom : 
the  thought  that  the  division  of  time  into  past,  present  and 
future  is,  in  great  measure,  an  illusion ;  that  past,  present, 
future  all  dwell  together  in  the  eternal  Now. 

The  discernment  of  this  truth  has  been  held  to  be  so 
necessarily  a  part  of  wisdom,  that  one  of  the  names  of  the 
Enlightened  is:  "he  who  has  passed  beyond  the  three  times: 
past,  present,  future." 

So  the  Western  Master  said:  "Before  Abraham  was,  I 
am" ;  and  again,  "I  am  with  you  alway,  unto  the  end  of  the 
world" ;  using  the  eternal  present  for  past  and  future  alike. 
With  the  same  purpose,  the  Master  speaks  of  himself  as  "the 
alpha  and  the  omega,  the  beginning  and  the  end,  the  first  and 
the  last." 

And  a  Master  of  our  own  days  writes :  "I  feel  even  irri- 
tated at  having  to  use  these  three  clumsy  words — past,  present, 
and  future.  Miserable  concepts  of  the  objective  phases  of  the 
subjective  whole,  they  are  about  as  ill-adapted  for  the  purpose, 
as  an  axe  for  fine  carving."  One  feels  that  there  must  be 
something  woefully  wrong  with  words  that  can  so  far  disturb 
that  high,  urbane  serenity. 

In  the  eternal  Now,  both  past  and  future  are  consummated. 

Bjorklund,  the  Swedish  philosopher,  has  well  stated  the 
same  truth: 

"Neither  past  nor  future  can  exist  to  God;  He  lives  undi- 
videdly,  without  limitations,  and  needs  not,  as  man,  to  plot  out 
his  existence  in  a  series  of  moments.  Eternity  then  is  not 
identical  with  unending  time;  it  is  a  different  form  of  exist- 
ence, related  to  time  as  the  perfect  to  the  imperfect.  .  .  . 
Man  as  an  entity  for  himself  must  have  the  natural  limitations 
for  the  part.  Conceived  by  God  man  is  eternal  in  the  divine 
sense,  but  conceived  by  himself  man's  eternal  life  is  clothed  in 
the  limitations  we  call  time.  The  eternal  is  a  constant  present 
without  beginning  or  end,  without  past  or  future." 



13.  These  properties,  whether  manifest  or  latent,  are  of 
the  nature  of  the  Three  Potencies. 

The  Three  Potencies  are  the  three  manifested  modifica- 
tions of  the  one  primal  material,  which  stands  opposite  to 
perceiving",  consciousness.  These  Three  Potencies  are  called 
Substance,  Force,  Darkness;  or  viewed  rather  for  their  moral 
coloring,  Goodness,  Passion,  Inertness.  Every  material  man- 
ifestation is  a  projection  of  substance  into  the  empty  space  of 
darkness.  Every  mental  state  is  either  good,  or  passional,  or 
inert.  So,  whether  subjective  or  objective,  latent  or  manifest, 
all  things  that  present  themselves  to  the  perceiving  conscious- 
ness are  compounded  of  these  three. 

14.  The  external  manifestation  of  an  object  takes  place 
when  the  transformations  are  in  the  same  phase. 

We  should  be  inclined  to  express  the  same  law  by  saying, 
for  example,  that  a  sound  is  audible,  when  it  consists  of  vibra- 
tions within  the  compass  of  the  auditory  nerve ;  that  an  object 
is  visible,  when  either  directly  or  by  reflection,  it  sends  forth 
luminiferous  vibrations  within  the  compass  of  the  retina  and 
the  optic  nerve.  Vibrations  below  or  above  that  compass  make 
no  impression  at  all,  and  the  object  remains  invisible;  as,  for 
example,  a  kettle  of  boiling  water  in  a  dark  room,  though  the 
kettle  is  sending  forth  heat  vibrations  closely  akin  to  light. 

So,  when  the  vibrations  of  the  object  and  those  of  the 
perceptive  power  are  in  the  same  phase,  the  external  manifesta- 
tion of  the  object  takes  place. 

There  seems  to  be  a  further  suggestion  that  the  appear- 
ance of  an  object  in  the  "present,"  or  its  remaining  hid  in  the 
"past,"  or  "future,"  is  likewise  a  question  of  phase,  and,  just 
as  the  range  of  vibrations  perceived  might  be  increased  by  the 
development  of  finer  senses,  so  the  perception  of  things  past, 
and  things  to  come,  may  be  easy  from  a  higher  point  of  view. 


BOOK     IV 

15.  The  paths  of  material  things  and  of  states  of  conscious** 
ness  are  distinct,  as  is  manifest  from  the  fact  that  the  same 
object  may  produce  different  impressions  in  different  minds. 

Having  shown  that  our  bodily  condition  and  circumstances 
depend  on  Karma,  while  Karma  depends  on  perception  and 
will,  the  sage  recognizes  the  fact  that  from  this  may  be  drawn 
the  false  deduction  that  material  things  are  in  no  wise  different 
from  states  of  mind.  The  same  thought  has  occurred,  and  still 
occurs,  to  all  philosophers ;  and,  by  various  reasonings,  they 
all  come  to  the  same  wise  conclusion;  that  the  material  world 
is  not  made  by  the  mood  of  any  human  mind,  but  is  rather  the 
manifestation  of  the  totality  of  invisible  Being,  whether  we  call 
this  Mahat,  with  the  ancients,  or  Ether,  with  the  moderns. 

16.  Nor  do  material  objects  depend  upon  a  single  mind, 
for  how  could  they  remain  objective  to  others,  if  that  mind 
ceased  to  think  of  them? 

This  is  but  a  further  development  of  the  thought  of  the 
preceding  sutra,  carrying  on  the  thought  that,  while  the 
universe  is  spiritual,  yet  its  material  expression  is  ordered,  con- 
sistent, ruled  by  law,  not  subject  to  the  whims  or  affirmations 
of  a  single  mind,  unwelcome  material  things  may  be  escaped 
by  spiritual  growth,  by  rising  to  a  realm  above  them,  and  not 
by  denying  their  existence  on  their  own  plane.  So  that  our 
system  is  neither  materialistic,  nor  idealistic  in  the  extreme 
sense,  but  rather  intuitional  and  spiritual,  holding  that  matter 
is  the  manifestation  of  spirit  as  a  whole,  a  reflection  or  exter- 
nalization  of  spirit,  and,  like  spirit,  everywhere  obedient  to  law. 
The  path  of  liberation  is  not  through  denial  of  matter  but 
through  denial  of  the  wills  of  self,  through  obedience,  and  that 
aspiration  which  builds  the  vesture  of  the  spiritual  man. 



17.  An  object  is  perceived,  or  not  perceived,  according  as 
the  mind  is,  or  is  not,  tinged  with  the  color  of  the  object. 

The  simplest  manifestation  of  this  is  the  matter  of  atten- 
tion. Our  minds  apprehend  what  they  wish  to  apprehend;  all 
else  passes  unnoticed,  or,  on  the  other  hand,  we  perceive  what 
we  resent,  as,  for  example,  the  noise  of  a  passing  train ;  while 
others,  used  to  the  sound,  do  not  notice  it  at  all. 

But  the  deeper  meaning  is,  that  out  of  the  vast  totality  of 
objects  ever  present  in  the  universe,  the  mind  perceives  only 
those  which  conform  to  the  hue  of  its  Karma.  The  rest  re- 
mains unseen,  even  though  close  at  hand. 

This  spiritual  law  has  been  well  expressed  by  Emerson: 

"Through  solidest  eternal  things  the  man  finds  his  road  as 
if  they  did  not  subsist,  and  does  not  once  suspect  their  being. 
As  soon  as  he  needs  a  new  object,  suddenly  he  beholds  it,  and 
no  longer  attempts  to  pass  through  it,  but  takes  another  way. 
When  he  has  exhausted  for  the  time  the  nourishment  to  be 
drawn  from  any  one  person  or  thing,  that  object  is  withdrawn 
from  his  observation,  and  though  still  in  his  immediate  neigh- 
borhood, he  does  not  suspect  its  presence.  Nothing  is  dead. 
Men  feign  themselves  dead,  and  endure  mock  funerals  and 
mournful  obituaries,  and  there  they  stand  looking  out  of  the 
window,  sound  and  well,  in  some  new  and  strange  disguise. 
Jesus  is  not  dead,  he  is  very  well  alive :  nor  John,  nor  Paul,  nor 
Mahomet,  nor  Aristotle;  at  times  we  believe  we  have  seen 
them  all,  and  could  easily  tell  the  names  under  which  they  go." 


BOOK     IV 

1 8.  The  movements  of  the  psychic  nature  are  perpetually 
objects  of  perception,  since  the  Spiritual  Man,  who  is  the  lord  of 
them,  remains  unchanging. 

Here  is  teaching  of  the  utmost  import,  both  for  under- 
standing and  for  practice. 

To  the  psychic  nature  belong  all  the  ebb  and  flow  of 
emotion,  all  hoping  and  fearing,  desire  and  hate:  the  things 
that  make  the  multitude  of  men  and  women  deem  themselves 
happy  or  miserable.  To  it  also  belong  the  measuring  and  com- 
paring, the  doubt  and  questioning,  which,  for  the  same  multi- 
tude, make  up  mental  life.  So  that  there  results  the  emotion- 
soaked  personality,  with  its  dark  and  narrow  view  of  life:  the 
shivering,  terror-driven  personality  that  is  life  itself  for  all 
but  all  of  mankind. 

Yet  the  personality  is  not  the  true  man,  not  the  living  soul 
at  all,  but  only  a  spectacle  which  the  true  man  observes.  Un- 
derstand this,  therefore,  and  draw  yourself  up  inwardly  to  the 
height  of  the  Spiritual  Man,  who,  standing  in  the  quiet  light 
of  the  Eternal,  looks  down  serene  upon  this  turmoil  of  the 
outer  life. 

One  first  masters  the  personality,  the  "mind,"  by  thus 
looking  down  on  it  from  above,  from  within ;  by  steadily  watch- 
ing its  ebb  and  flow,  as  objective,  outward,  and  therefore  not 
the  real  Self.  This  standing  back  is  the  first  step,  detachment. 
The  second,  to  maintain  the  vantage-ground  thus  gained,  is 



19.  The  Mind  is  not  self=luminous,  since  it  can  be  seen  as 
an  object. 

This  is  a  further  step  toward  overthrowing  the  tyranny 
of  the  "mind" :  the  psychic  nature  of  emotion  and  mental 
measuring.  This  psychic  self,  the  personality,  claims  to  be 
absolute,  asserting  that  life  is  for  it  and  through  it ;  it  seeks  to 
impose  on  the  whole  being  of  man  its  narrow,  materialistic, 
faithless  view  of  life  and  the  universe ;  it  would  fain  clip  the 
wings  of  the  soaring  Soul.  But  the  Soul  dethrones  the  tyrant, 
by  perceiving  and  steadily  affirming  that  the  psychic  self  is  no 
true  self  at  all,  not  self-luminous,  but  only  an  object  of  obser- 
vation, watched  by  the  serene  eyes  of  the  Spiritual  Man. 

20.  Nor  could  the  Mind  at  the  same  time  know  itself  and 
things  external  to  it. 

The  truth  is  that  the  "mind"  knows  neither  external  things 
nor  itself.  Its  measuring  and  analysing,  its  hoping  and  fear- 
ing, hating  and  desiring,  never  give  it  a  true  measure  of  life, 
nor  any  sense  of  real  values.  Ceaselessly  active,  it  never  really 
attains  to  knowledge ;  or,  if  we  admit  its  knowledge,  it  ever 
falls  short  of  wisdom,  which  comes  only  through  intuition,  the 
vision  of  the  Spiritual  Man. 

Life  cannot  be  known  by  the  "mind,"  its  secrets  cannot 
be  learned  through  the  "mind."  The  proof  is,  the  ceaseless 
strife  and  contradiction  of  opinion  among  those  who  trust  in 
the  mind.  Much  less  can  the  "mind"  know  itself,  the  more  so, 
because  it  is  pervaded  by  the  illusion  that  it  truly  knows, 
truly  is. 

True  knowledge  of  the  "mind"  comes,  first,  when  the 
Spiritual  Man,  arising,  stands  detached,  regarding  the  "mind" 
from  above,  with  quiet  eyes,  and  seeing  it  for  the  tangled  web 
of  psychic  forces  that  it  truly  is.  But  the  truth  is  divined  long 
before  it  is  clearly  seen,  and  then  begins  the  long  battle  of  the 
"mind"  against  the  Real,  the  "mind"  fighting  furiously, 
craftily,  for  its  supremacy.  Its  honor  rooted  in  dishonor 
stands,  and  faith  unfaithful  makes  it  falsely  true. 


BOOK     IV 

it.  If  the  Mind  be  thought  of  as  seen  by  another  more 
inward  Mind,  then  there  would  be  ah  endless  series  of  perceiv- 
ing Minds,  and  a  confusion  of  memories. 

One  of  the  expedients  by  which  the  "mind"  seeks  to  deny 
and  thwart  the  Soul,  when  it  feels  that  it  is  beginning  to  be 
circumvented  and  seen  through,  is  to  assert  that  this  seeing  is 
the  work  of  a  part  of  itself,  one  part  observing  the  other,  and 
thus  leaving  no  need  nor  place  for  the  Spiritual  Man. 

To  this  strategy  the  argument  is  opposed  by  our  philos- 
opher, that  this  would  be  no  true  solution,  but  only  a  post- 
ponement of  the  solution.  For  we  should  have  to  find  yet 
another  part  of  the  mind  to  view  the  first  observing  part,  and 
then  another  to  observe  this,  and  so  on,  endlessly. 

The  true  solution  is,  that  the  Spiritual  Man  looks  down 
upon  the  psychic  nature,  and  observes  it;  when  he  views  the 
psychic  picture-gallery,  this  is  "memory,"  which  would  be  a 
hopeless,  inextricable  confusion,  if  we  thought  of  one  part  of 
the  "mind,"  with  its  memories,  viewing  another  part,  with 
memories  of  its  own. 

The  solution  of  the  mystery  lies  not  in  the  "mind"  but 
beyond  it,  in  the  luminous  life  of  the  risen  Lord,  the  Spiritual 

11.  When  the  pure  Spiritual  Consciousness,  which  is  free 
from  all  succession  or  change,  takes  form  in  the  Spiritual  Man, 
then  does  Consciousness  realize  its  own  luminous  being. 

True  individuality  is  never  reached  in  the  "mind,"  the 
psychic  being,  with  its  ceaseless  ebb  and  flow,  its  hating  and 
desiring,  fearing  and  hoping,  mapping  and  measuring.  The 
fluctuating  being  is  no  real  self.    The  man  is  not  yet  born. 

But  when  the  Spiritual  Man  wins  his  long  battle  against 
the  "mind,"  and  the  mind's  world-view,  and,  rising,  stands 
firm  in  his  own  might,  then  true  life  and  individuality  begin. 
Abstract  spiritual  Consciousness  comes  to  a  focus,  as  it  were, 
in  a  real  being,  a  true  individuality,  who  neither  fears  nor 
hopes,  but  knows  himself  immortal,  one  of  the  Children  of 



23.  The  psychic  nature,  universally  adaptive,  takes  on  the 
color  either  of  things  seen,  or  of  the  Seer. 

In  the  unregenerate  man,  the  psychic  nature  is  saturated 
with  images^of  material  things,  of  things  seen,  or  heard,  or 
tasted,  or  felt ;  and  this  web  of  dynamic  images  forms  the  ordi- 
nary material  and  driving  power  of  life.  The  sensation  of 
sweet  things  tasted  clamors  to  be  renewed,  and  drives  the  man 
into  effort  to  obtain  its  renewal ;  so  he  adds  image  to  image, 
each  dynamic  and  importunate,  piling  up  sin's  intolerable 

Then  comes  regeneration,  and  the  washing  away  of  sin, 
through  the  fiery,  creative  power  of  the  Soul,  which  burns  out 
the  stains  of  the  psychic  vesture,  purifying  it  as  gold  is  refined 
in  the  furnace.  The  suffering  of  regeneration  springs  from 
this  indispensable  purifying. 

Then  the  psychic  vesture  begins  to  take  on  the  color  of 
the  Soul,  no  longer  stained,  but  suffused  with  golden  light; 
and  the  man  regenerate  gleams  with  the  radiance  of  eternity. 
Thus  the  Spiritual  Man  puts  on  fair  raiment ;  for  of  this  cleans- 
ing it  is  said:  Though  your  sins  be  as  scarlet,  they  shall  be 
white  as  snow ;  though  they  be  as  crimson,  they  shall  be  as 


BOOK     IV 

24.  The  psychic  nature,  which  has  been  printed  with  mind- 
images  of  innumerable  material  things,  exists  now  for  the  Spirit- 
ual Man,  subordinate  to  him. 

The  "mind,"  once  the  tyrant,  is  now  the  slave,  recognized 
as  outward,  separate,  not-Self,  a  well-trained  instrument  of 
the  Spiritual  Man. 

For  it  is  not  ordained  for  the  Spiritual  Man  that,  finding 
his  high  realm,  he  shall  enter  altogether  there,  and  pass  out  of 
the  vision  of  mankind.  It  is  true  that  he  dwells  in  heaven,  but 
he  also  dwells  on  earth.  He  has  angels  and  archangels,  the 
hosts  of  the  just  made  perfect,  for  his  familiar  friends,  but  he 
has  at  the  same  time  found  a  new  kinship  with  the  prone  chil- 
dren of  men,  who  stumble  and  sin  in  the  dark.  Finding  sin- 
lessness,  he  finds  also  that  the  world's  sin  and  shame  are  his, 
not  to  share,  but  to  atone ;  finding  kinship  with  angels,  he  like- 
wise finds  his  part  in  the  toil  of  angels,  the  toil  for  the  redemp- 
tion of  the  world. 

For  this  work,  he,  who  now  stands  in  the  heavenly  realm, 
needs  his  instrument  on  earth;  and  this  instrument  he  finds, 
ready  to  his  hand,  and  fitted  and  perfected  by  the  very  strug- 
gles he  has  waged  against  it,  in  the  personality,  the  "mind"  of 
the  personal  man.  This  once  tyrant  is  now  his  servant  and 
perfect  ambassador,  bearing  witness,  before  men,  of  heavenly 
things,  and  even  in  this  present  world  doing  the  will  and  work- 
ing the  works  of  the  Father. 



25.  For  him  who  discerns  between  the  Mind  and  the  Spirit- 
ual Man,  there  comes  perfect  fruition  of  the  longing  after  the 
real  being  of  the  Self. 

How  many  times  in  the  long  struggle  have  the  Soul's 
aspirations  seemed  but  a  hopeless,  impossible  dream,  a  mad- 
man's counsel  of  perfection.  Yet  every  finest,  most  impossible 
aspiration  shall  be  realized,  and  ten  times  more  than  realized, 
once  the  long,  arduous  fight  against  the  "mind,"  and  the  mind's 
world-view  is  won.  And  then  it  will  be  seen  that  unfaith  and 
despair  were  but  weapons  of  the  ''mind,"  to  daunt  the  Soul, 
and  put  off  the  day  when  the  neck  of  the  "mind"  shall  be  put 
under  the  foot  of  the  Soul. 

Have  you  aspired,  well-nigh  hopeless,  after  immortality? 
You  shall  be  paid  by  entering  the  immortality  of  God. 

Have  you  aspired,  in  misery  and  pain,  after  consoling, 
healing  love  ?  You  shall  be  made  a  dispenser  of  the  divine  love 
of  God  Himself  to  weary  souls. 

Have  you  sought  ardently,  in  your  day  of  feebleness,  after 
power?  You  shall  wield  power  immortal,  infinite,  with  God 
working  the  works  of  God. 

Have  you,  in  lonely  darkness,  longed  for  companionship 
and  consolation?  You  shall  have  angels  and  archangels  for 
your  friends,  and  all  the  immortal  hosts  of  the  Dawn. 

These  are  the  fruits  of  victory.  Therefore  overcome. 
These  are  the  prizes  of  regeneration.  Therefore  die  to  self, 
that  you  may  rise  again  to  God. 


BOOK     IV 

26.  Thereafter,  the  whole  personal  being  bends  toward 
illumination,  full  of  the  spirit  of  Eternal  Life. 

This  is  part  of  the  secret  of  the  Soul,  that  salvation  means, 
not  merely  that  a  soul  shall  be  cleansed  and  raised  to  heaven, 
but  that  the  whole  realm  of  the  natural  powers  shall  be  re- 
deemed, building  up,  even  in  this  present  world,  the  kingly 
figure  of  the  Spiritual  Man. 

The  traditions  of  the  ages  are  full  of  his  footsteps ; 
majestic,  uncomprehended  shadows,  myths,  demi-gods,  fill  the 
memories  of  all  the  nobler  peoples.  But  the  time  cometh, 
when  he  shall  be  known,  no  longer  demi-god,  nor  myth,  nor 
shadow,  but  the  ever-present  Redeemer,  working  amid  men  for 
the  life  and  cleansing  of  all  souls. 

27.  In  the  intervals  of  the  battle,  other  thoughts  will  arise, 
through  the  impressions  of  the  dynamic  mind=images. 

The  battle  is  long  and  arduous.  Let  there  be  no  mistake 
as  to  that.  Go  not  forth  to  this  battle  without  counting  the 
cost.  Ages  have  gone  to  the  strengthening  of  the  foe.  Ages 
of  conflict  must  be  spent,  ere  the  foe,  wholly  conquered,  be- 
comes the  servant,  the  Soul's  minister  to  mankind. 

And  from  these  long  past  ages,  in  hours  when  the  con- 
test flags,  will  come  new  foes,  mind-born  children  springing 
up  to  fight  for  mind,  reinforcements  coming  from  forgotten 
years,  forgotten  lives.  For  once  this  conflict  is  begun,  it  can 
be  ended  only  by  sweeping  victory,  and  unconditional,  unre- 
served surrender  of  the  vanquished. 



28.  These  are  to  be  overcome  as  it  was  taught  that  sorrows 
should  be  overcome. 

These  new  enemies  and  fears  are  to  be  overcome  by  cease- 
lessly renewing  the  fight,  by  a  steadfast,  dogged  persistence, 
whether  in  victory  or  defeat,  which  shall  put  the  stubbornness 
of  the  rocks  to  shame.  For  the  Soul  is  older,  more  invincible 
than  all  things ;  it  is  of  the  very  nature  of  the  Soul  to  be  un- 

Therefore  fight  on,  undaunted ;  knowing  that  the  spiritual 
will,  once  awakened,  will,  through  the  effort  of  the  contest, 
come  to  its  full  strength ;  that  ground  gained  can  be  held  per- 
manently ;  that  great  as  is  the  dead-weight  of  the  adversary,  it 
is  yet  measurable,  while  he  who  fights  for  you,  he  for  whom 
you  fight,  is  in  might  immeasurable,  invincible,  everlasting. 

29.  He  who,  after  he  has  attained,  is  wholly  free  from  self, 
is  set  in  a  cloud  of  holiness  which  is  called  illumination.  This  is 
the  true  spiritual  consciousness. 

It  has  been  said  that,  at  the  beginning  of  the  way,  we 
must  kill  out  ambition,  the  great  curse,  the  giant  weed  which 
grows  as  strongly  in  the  heart  of  the  devoted  disciple  as  in  the 
man  of  desire.  The  remedy  is  sacrifice  of  self,  obedience,  hu- 
mility; that  purity  of  heart  which  gives  the  vision  of  God. 
Thereafter,  he  who  has  attained  is  wrapt  about  with  holiness, 
as  with  a  cloud;  he  has  that  perfect  illumination  which  is  the 
true  spiritual  consciousness.  Through  obedience  to  the  will 
of  God,  he  comes  into  oneness  of  being  with  God;  he  is  initi- 
ated into  God's  view  of  the  universe,  seeing  all  life  as  God 
sees  it. 


BOOK     IV 

30.  Thereon  comes  surcease  from  sorrow  and  the  burden 
of  toil. 

Such  a  one,  it  is  said,  is  free  from  the  bond  of  Karma, 
from  the  burden  of  toil,  from  that  debt  to  works  which  comes 
from  works  done  in  self-love  and  desire.  Free  from  self-will, 
he  is  free  from  sorrow,  too,  for  sorrow  comes  from  the  fight  of 
self-will  against  the  divine  will,  through  the  correcting  stress 
of  the  divine  will,  which  seeks  to  counteract  the  evil  wrought 
by  disobedience.  When  the  conflict  with  the  divine  will 
ceases,  then  sorrow  ceases,  and  he  who  has  grown  into  obed- 
ience, thereby  enters  into  joy. 

31.  When  all  veils  are  rent,  all  stains  washed  away,  his 
knowledge  becomes  infinite;  little  remains  for  him  to  know. 

The  first  veil  is  the  delusion  that  thy  soul  is  in  some  per- 
manent way  separate  from  the  great  Soul,  the  divine  Eternal. 
When  that  veil  is  rent,  thou  shalt  discern  thy  oneness  with 
everlasting  Life.  The  second  veil  is  the  delusion  of  enduring 
separateness  from  thy  other  selves,  whereas  in  truth  the  soul 
that  is  in  them  is  one  with  the  soul  that  is  in  thee.  The  world's 
sin  and  shame  are  thy  sin  and  shame:  its  joy  also. 

These  veils  rent,  thou  shalt  enter  into  knowledge  of  divine 
things  and  human  things.    Little  will  remain  unknown  to  thee. 



32.  Thereafter  comes  the  completion  of  the  series  of  trans- 
formations of  the  three  nature-potencies,  since  their  purpose  is 

It  is  a  part  of  the  beauty  and  wisdom  of  the  great  Indian 
teachings,  the  Vedanta  and  the  Yoga  alike,  to  hold  that  all  life 
exists  for  the  purposes  of  Soul,  for  the  making  of  the  Spiritual 
Man.  They  do  not  teach  a  salvation  which  is  preternatural, 
a  seeming  violation  of  the  course  of  nature,  nor  a  salvation 
which  comes  through  a  divine  decree,  almost  a  divine  whim. 
They  teach  rather  that  all  nature  is  an  orderly  process  of  evolu- 
tion, leading  up  to  this,  designed  for  this  end,  existing  only  for 
this:  to  bring  forth  and  perfect  the  Spiritual  Man.  He  is  the 
crown  of  evolution ;  at  his  coming,  the  goal  of  all  development 
is  attained. 

33.  The  series  of  transformations  is  divided  into  moments, 
and  is  to  be  regarded  as  the  culmination  of  nature. 

This  is,  perhaps,  a  philosophical  subtlety,  later  inserted  in 
the  teaching,  in  fuller  expansion  of  the  words  "series  of  trans- 
formations" in  the  last  sutra.  The  idea,  however,  is  clear,  and 
is  wholly  in  harmony  with  the  rest  of  the  teaching.  There  are 
two  kinds  of  eternity,  says  the  commentary :  the  eternity  of  im- 
mortal life,  which  belongs  to  the  Spirit,  and  the  eternity  of 
change,  which  inheres  in  Nature;  in  all  that  is  not  Spirit. 
While  we  are  content  to  live  in  and  for  Nature,  in  the  Circle  of 
Necessity,  Sansara,  we  doom  ourselves  to  perpetual  change. 
That  which  is  born  must  die,  and  that  which  dies  must  be  re- 
born. It  is  change  evermore,  a  ceaseless  series  of  transfor- 

But  the  Spiritual  Man  enters  a  new  order ;  for  him,  there 
is  no  longer  eternal  change,  but  eternal  Being.  He  has  entered 
into  the  joy  of  his  Lord.  This  spiritual  birth,  which  makes 
him  heir  of  the  Everlasting,  sets  a  term  to  change;  it  is  the 
culmination,  the  crowning  transformation,  of  the  whole  realm 
of  change. 


BOOK     IV 

34.  Pure  spiritual  life  is,  therefore,  the  inverse  resolution 
of  the  potencies  of  Nature,  which  have  emptied  themselves  of 
their  value  for  the  Spiritual  man;  or  it  is  the  return  of  the  power 
of  pure  Consciousness  to  its  essential  form. 

Here  we  have  a  splendid  generalization,  in  which  our  wise 
philosopher  finally  reconciles  the  naturalists  and  the  idealists, 
expressing  the  crown  and  end  of  his  teaching,  first  in  the  terms 
of  the  naturalist,  and  then  in  the  terms  of  the  idealist. 

The  birth  and  growth  of  the  Spiritual  Man,  and  his  entry 
into  his  immortal  heritage,  may  be  regarded,  says  our  philoso- 
pher, either  as  the  culmination  of  the  whole  process  of  natural 
evolution  and  involution,  where  "that  which  flowed  from  out 
the  boundless  deep,  turns  again  home" ;  or  it  may  be  looked  at, 
as  the  Vedantins  look  at  it,  as  the  restoration  of  pure  spiritual 
Consciousness  to  its  pristine  and  essential  form.  There  is  no 
discrepancy  or  conflict  between  these  two  views,  which  are  but 
two  accounts  of  the  same  thing.  Therefore  those  who  study 
the  wise  philosopher,  be  they  naturalist  or  idealist,  have  no 
excuse  to  linger  over  dialectic  subtleties  or  disputes.  These 
things  are  lifted  from  their  path,  lest  they  should  be  tempted 
to  delay  over  them,  and  they  are  left  facing  the  path  itself, 
stretching  upward  and  onward  from  their  feet  to  the  everlast- 
ing hills,  radiant  with  infinite  Light. 

You,  too,  reader,  who  have  followed  the  thoughts  of  the 
wise  philosopher,  be  persuaded  to  take  to  your  heart  a  like 
counsel  and  admonition.  The  path  is  for  you.  The  Spiritual 
Man  waits  to  be  revealed  in  you,  to  initiate  you  into  immor- 
tality, setting  you  amid  the  Children  of  Light.  Be  persuaded, 
then,  since  the  truth  is  before  you,  the  holy  message  has  come 
to  your  ears.  Heed  the  message,  know  that  through  it  alone 
is  life,  leave  the  shadows  of  yourself  behind,  enter  the  Light, 
and  hear  the  ringing  Welcome  that  awaits  you. 


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